Gladiolus huttonii hybrids?

Mary Sue Ittner
Wed, 04 May 2005 07:52:55 PDT
Dear All,

A number of years ago I received some plants from Jim Robinett he had 
labeled Gladiolus huttonii. I shared some with the Mendocino Coast 
Botanical Gardens and subsequently grew some more from seed Bob Werra gave 
me. I thought they were delightful plants which is why I grew more of them, 
but they just didn't match the description in my books of that species and 
I wondered if there was that much variation of the plants in the wild. This 
year several pots of mine were in bloom in February and March for a long 
time and I was quite enchanted with all the variations in the flowers and 
interested that the ones that were almost all yellow bloomed first. I am 
wondering if these are not really Gladiolus huttonii, but hybrids instead. 
I wrote Alan Horstmann who was going to check with John Manning for me. 
Alan thought they were probably hybrids with Gladiolus tristis in the 
parentage and had a distant memory that someone else in South Africa had 
grown plants like this from Kirstenbosch seed. My friend Jana has some that 
look like these pictures and hers were grown from Kirstenbosch seed. Alan 
has not heard back from John and is now away I believe. I'd appreciate an 
opinion from other South African members on this forum about this. Is there 
this kind of variation in the wild? I'm afraid I got a little carried away 
when I added them to the wiki as I couldn't decide which of the different 
forms to include. Sorry about that. That happened with me and my Moraea 
(Homeria) hybrids too.…

The picture below Bob took of Alan's Gladiolus huttonii when we visited in 
South Africa a couple of years ago. Alan suspected that is the only picture 
we have on the wiki that is not a hybrid.…

As my garden continues to be full of blooms of South African bulbs and I 
have a lot of pollinators visiting my flowers I realize that probably a 
great deal of the seed I have given to the BX and exchanges could represent 
hybrids. With as much as I grow I just don't have time to hand pollinate. 
For many gardeners it probably doesn't matter as they are just interested 
in having pretty flowers. For those wanting pure species it could be a problem.

Mary Sue

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