|summer or winter rain climates
Gladiolus gueinzii Kunze grows on coastal sand dunes at and above the high tide mark in the southern Cape where it occurs in both the winter and the summer rainfall areas. It produces small cormlets around the base of the buried corm like other species, but also produces a large glossy dark corm that is bouyant in the water and is dispersed to new areas by floating. Growing from 25 to 50 cm high, this species has four to eight mauve flowers with red-purple and white markings on the lower tepals. It flowers in late spring to summer. The first photo was taken by Rachel Saunders. The second photo was taken on the Otter Trail by Andrew Harvie.
Photos from Paul Sieben who comments: "The first photo reflects how close to the sea they grow and flourish. The base of the dune would have been cut by the past equinox spring tides. The second shows how big the pods are and how full they are relative to the flower. All the flowers I have seen have been very similar to the one that Andrew Harvie took (above), they hardly open. The abundance of seed and plants could be due to the closure of our beaches (in 2020) and a lengthy lockdown period here in SA, far less trampling of the dune area as this is at a popular access point".
Photo 3 shows how offset bulbs form around the base of the stem and result in clusters of plants.
In September 2023 "We have had extreme storm surges associated with Spring equinox tides which has stripped the coast of sand exposing the bulbs. This shows the white stem indicating that the bulbs are between 200 and 300 mm below the surface. In my experiences this is very deep for gladioli bulbs, it is possibly to prevent dehydration on the dunes. At least 70 % of the bulbs have been washed away in this one incident".