Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Gladiolus bullatus (Caledon bell)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Iridaceae > Genus: Gladiolus

Gladiolus buckerveldiiGladiolus buckerveldii

Gladiolus bullatus, Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve, Kleinmond, Western Cape, South Africa. [photos H.G. Robertson, Iziko ]


Information is from Goldblatt and Manning (1998).

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa, with a distribution from Houw Hoek and Kogelberg in the west to Bredasdorp and Potberg (near Cape Infanta) in the east. Grows in low-growing fynbos vegetation, mainly in stony sandstone-derived soils, but also on limestone outcrops.

Life cycle

  • A geophyte, with corms measuring 10-20 mm in diameter.
  • Flowers from mid-August to mid-September.
  • Seeds ovate, pointed at one end, measuring 4-5 mm long by 3 mm wide, broadly and evenly winged.

Ecological interactions

On the basis of flower structure and colour, flowers are probably pollinated by long-tongued bees, but there are no observations to support this.

Meaning of name

bullatus means bubble-like in Latin and refers to the inflated, round shape of the flowers.


  • Goldblatt P. and Manning J. 1998. Gladiolus in Southern Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, Cape Town.

Text by Hamish Robertson

Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search