|Climate:||winter rain climate|
Gladiolus aureus Baker is endangered. It is found in the wild today in only a single location, a peaty seep on a rocky sandstone slope in the Southwest Cape. There are reportedly as few as ten plants remaining at this location. It has bright yellow flowers. The first photo was taken by Rachel Saunders August 2012 at its only known locality. There were five flowering plants surrounded by alien vegetation, houses and destruction. Photos 2-4 were taken by Bob Werra and the last photo by Michael Mace.
Additional information and photos from Ernie DeMarie: I grew three plants from seed that was refrigerated for well over a decade that came from the annual seed distribution of the Botanical Society of South Africa, which unfortunately they no longer do for international members. This species is not self compatible so when all three plants bloomed I was able to cross them and set a good amount of seeds. I distributed seeds or young corms to growers in California, South Africa, Australia, and Argentina in the hopes that this species could be maintained in cultivation as it is gravely endangered at its one locality on the Cape Peninsula.
Gladious aureus is not especially difficult to grow under my conditions but corms can exhaust themselves if they set a lot of seed. It will usually flower the third year from seed. It appears to reproduce mainly by seed; thus far I have not seen evidence of abundant cormlet production as happens with most other gladiolus species. It blooms in February for me. Being a small plant it can be managed under lights more easily than many other gladioli species.