Gladiolus gracilis

Michael Mace
Sun, 27 Jan 2013 13:51:26 PST
Angelo wrote:


> got these plants to flower from seed (Silverhill 2009), but comparing many
photos on the Wiki and around, it doesn't seem to fit well within the
variations of the species, at least with the normal blue form.


Good question, Angelo. The problem, as I'm sure you know, is that there are
several blue Gladiolus species that look very similar.  Add in the natural
variation among species (some vary a lot) and it can be very, very hard to
tell them apart, especially if (like me) you haven't been to South Africa to
see them in the field.


The best collection I know of for South African bulb photos from the wild is
on Ispot:…


None of them look like your flower, but that doesn't mean much, since only
the typical looking ones would be likely to be identified as G. gracilis
from a photo.


A few notes from the Goldblatt and Manning book:


--G. gracilis can be sweetly scented, so you can't count on smell to
identify yours.


--Are yours in bloom right now?  The book says it blooms in July to early
August in South Africa, so that would be January to early February in the


--The book says gracilis has four leaves, sometimes three.  If yours has
two, that implies maybe it's not G. gracilis.


--G. recurvus is also supposed to have four leaves, so that may be ruled out
as well.


--The spike size and number of flowers you reported is within the range for
G. gracilis.


As Gastil said, a description of the leaf shape could help, although even
that won't be decisive.  For example, G. inflexus looks a bit like your
flower going by the illustrations in the book (although not the photos
online).  It has an H-shaped leaf.


Could you post a few more photos, showing the entire plant (including leaves
and stem), and also a closeup of the bracts on the backs of the flowers?
That might help.  It'll also help if you can get a ruler into the photo.





San Jose, CA


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