Gladiolus on the wiki

Sun, 07 Mar 2004 16:28:31 PST
Mary Sue,
The bug appears to be a Chrysomelid beetle. They are voracious both as grubs
and adult. In California we have two cucumber beetles that do the same
chuck Schwartz
Southern coastal California
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mary Sue Ittner" <>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <>
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 11:15 AM
Subject: [pbs] Gladiolus on the wiki

> Dear All,
> I assume that a lot of people from our list are attending the winter study
> meeting of NARGS in Eugene Oregon this weekend. I hope they will report
> when they return. Here in northern California it is a gorgeous day and
> there are all kinds of bulbs in bloom.
> I'd like to report on some recent additions to the wiki. I'll start with
> some South African Gladiolus in bloom at the moment. There are a number of
> early blooming varieties that don't fare very well in my climate. The rain
> and wind bat them around and they are often lying instead of standing as a
> result. When I shelter them, they may not get enough light and still look
> like they need support. I can't remember if they seemed like this in the
> wild. Perhaps they are supported by low bushes. I know a lot of the
> from the wetter parts of South Africa's winter rainfall areas bloom later
> and perhaps this is how they cope.
> Many are so beautiful that I keep trying and some years am rewarded with
> sunshine at the right times. One that I wouldn't put in the beautiful
> category however is Gladiolus abbreviatus. This seems a very apt name. I
> got seed of this because the drawing in the Manning-Goldblatt book made it
> look floriferous and kind of interesting. In real life my reaction was
> more, "Is this it?" Definitely a collector's item. We saw some in the wild
> on one of the IBSA excursions and we were all excited at every bulb we
> found in the dry year, but I ended up tossing all my slides of it as I
> decided I'd never include it in a slide show. I had a terrible time
> photographing this one as the camera always chose to focus on the
> background, but finally tried a trick Alberto suggested and put clear
> plastic behind it. Bob thought I need to put up a picture looking up at
> flower so you can see parts of the flower you can see head on so I've
> pictures of both. This one has a reddish tint, but there are some that are
> brownish. Now have I gotten anyone's attention? It is supposed to be
> pollinated by sunbirds which are gorgeous colorful birds so perhaps that
> would be a reason to grow it if I lived in South Africa. I'll be on the
> look out for hummingbirds.
> Definitely more beautiful is the species Gladiolus bullatus. When Rhoda
> Cameron McMaster took Bob and I, Lauw de Jager, and Patty Colville to
> Boskloof we saw it. It has a reputation for being hard to grow. I've been
> waiting for Cameron to put a picture he took of it up, but he's very busy
> so added one of Bob's from our visit to Boskloof.
> Blooming now is a species we also saw in the wild and a very beautiful
> thing, Gladiolus carinatus. My picture is a close-up which makes you think
> it is bigger than it really is. It is not a large flower, but the markings
> are really lovely.
> Finally when we were in South Africa on our own having a lunch stop Bob
> looking for birds with his binoculars and said he thought he had seen a
> blue flower that might be worth getting closer to. We scrambled up this
> hillside until we finally reached the flower. Someone had gotten there
> before us. Can anyone tell me what this insect is that is so enjoying this
> Gladiolus?
> We were very disappointed but continued to climb around until we found at
> least one flower unscathed. I believe it is Gladiolus rogersii. Seeds I've
> tried of that have never germinated, but in the last IBSA Bulletin Rod
> Saunders writes about growing from seed and he says Gladiolus seed is not
> very long lived.
> Pictures of those four species can be found on:
> Mary Sue
> Mary Sue Ittner
> California's North Coast
> Wet mild winters with occasional frost
> Dry mild summers
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