|Flower Colors:||red, yellow, green, patterned|
|Climate:||summer rain climate|
Gladiolus dalenii Van Geel is a widespread and common species found not only in Southern Africa, but also in other parts of tropical Africa. It has been known by a number of names over the years; there have been 27 synonyms for the tropical Africa and Madagascar forms and 14 more for the southern African forms. The main synonyms for the southern Africa collections have been Gladiolus natalensis and Gladiolus psittacinus. This species blooms at different times of the year depending on the location, but there are probably flowers every month of the year somewhere in its native habitats. Flowers are either red to orange with yellow markings on the lower half of the three lower tepals or yellow to greenish with red to brown streaks on the upper tepals. Although it favors moist habitats and is often found in grassland, it can also be found in dry habitats with only a short wet season. The ones I grew in Northern California lived for a number of years in the garden, dormant during our wet winters, appearing late spring and surviving through the dry summer and blooming in the fall. The flowering stalks were very tall with a number of flowers. Photos 1-2 of those plants were taken by Mary Sue Ittner. Photo 3 by Cameron McMaster shows plants in cultivation. Photos 4-5 by Mary Hunter and Mary Sue Ittner show the first bloom from seed of a yellow form of ssp. dalenii, once known as Gladiolus primulinus blooming in late summer in Northern California. The last photo by David Pilling shows seed.
The first photo below from Cameron McMaster shows flowering plants in habitat in the Eastern Cape. The second is another habitat shot taken near Balloch in the Eastern Cape, January 2010 by Bob Rutemoeller. Photo Nr. 3 from Rachel Saunders shows an unusual color form and was taken in northern KwaZulu-Natal in January 2015. The last photo shows the beautiful detail on likely the same color form, as the seeds were obtained from Silverhill, flowering the second year from seed for Martin Bohnet.