Gladiolus liliaceus

Quick Characteristics:

Flower Colors: yellow, pink, purple
Life form: corm
Climate: winter rain climate

Gladiolus liliaceus Houtt. grows on clay slopes over a wide area of South Africa (from the Cedarberg Mountains to Port Elizabeth) and blooms winter to spring. Growing from 30 to 80 cm high, the 1 to 4, sometimes 6, flowers are an inclined spike. The large flowers are brown, dull pinkish red, tan, purplish or cream to greenish yellow and turn bluish to mauve in the evenings when they become intensely clove scented. Depending on the location and the elevation with the lower elevations blooming earlier, this species blooms from late August to December.

The ones grown by Mary Sue Ittner have not been very fragrant and the color change is subtle. Photo 1 was taken by Mary Sue Ittner. Photos 2-3 from Bob Rutemoeller attempt to show the change in color. Photo 2 was taken during the day and photo 3 in the early evening. Andrew Harvie's photos (4-5) show the orangey red color of the day and the more purple color of the night. To ensure correct color balance both photos were taken with a flash and same exposure. He notes that he wishes he could also share the fragrance.

Gladiolus liliaceus, Mary Sue IttnerGladiolus liliaceus, day, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, night, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, day, Andrew HarvieGladiolus liliaceus, night, Andrew Harvie

The forms pictured below in the first four photos were all found at Drayton and were blooming August-September 2003. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller including a single yellow one. The fifth photo is of a red flowered one photographed by Cameron McMaster near Bredasdorp in the Overberg. The last photo from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok.

Gladiolus liliaceus, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus liliaceus, Cameron McMasterGladiolus liliaceus, Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok

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