I-95 Naturalized Gladiolus x gandavensis

Joe G joseph.andrew.gorman@gmail.com
Sun, 04 Aug 2019 12:17:38 PDT
On my way to a friend's wedding in early May of this year, I saw numerous
and diversely colored Gladiolus growing in the median and along the
right-of-ways of I-95 in southern South Carolina.

According to the USDA PLANTS database and from iNaturalist observations,
these were Gladiolus x gandavensis, though the colors more strongly
resembled Gladiolus dalenii to my eye at 70mph than the G. x gandavensis I
know. Brilliant scarlet, bicolors, sometimes huge monoculture clumps
outcompeting native vegetation at random in disturbed areas.

Though regarded as invasive in South Carolina, I'm thinking they might be
more tame (but still hardy) in the mountains of Southwest Virginia where I
live - there's some famous ancient populations of Gladiolus x gandavensis
in Cases Cove, NC not far from me, and the clone 'Boone' from Boone, NC,
all in much more muted pastel colors.

I was wondering if anyone else on this list has seen the populations I saw,
verified their species ID, and/or dug any up to grow for yourself. I
attached a picture of a lone red glad amid recently cleared palmettos in
the median near Ridgeland, SC (32°28'21.7"N 80°58'25.3"W).

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