Gladiolus tristis

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 07:45:33 PDT
Dear All,

I received a note back from Gordon Summerfield about the Gladiolus tristis 
(var. aestivalis) I recently posted a picture of. He had donated the IBSA 
seed. He told me about the habitat of this seed and about a couple of other 
South African gladiolus that bloom at various times. I was hoping to plant 
some of mine out after they go dormant, but after reading his note thought 
perhaps it would be too dry. But I've just received another note from a 
friend who is growing the same thing (from the same seed) that hers bloomed 
at the same time as mine in a dry bed so perhaps they are more tolerant 
than you'd think. Message from Gordon follows.

Mary Sue

"Gladiolus tristis var. aestivalis flowers here in December and in nature is
confined to wet boggy areas and invariably well shaded.   They together with
G. tristis var tristis and G. liliaceus are at their best in the early evening
and attract the Hawk moth, to do the natural pollination after dark, hence
the delightful smell - brush past and you will be rewarded with the
delightful scent.   There is also a very late flowering G. liliaceus (end
November) that grows in very close proximity to the G.tristis var aestivalis
but interestingly in very dry circumstances.   I find it remarkable that
there are these extreme flowering time differences within G.liliaceus,
G.tristis and incidentally also G. recurvus.   The G. recurvus from around
here and Stellenbsoch have almost finished flowering whereas I found a
species from around the Ceres region last year that flowers in November!"

Gordon Summerfield, South Africa July 04

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