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Gladiolus carneus (Painted lady, White Afrikaner)

Witbergpypie [Afrikaans]

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 carneus

Gladiolus carneus flowering in summer in the Table Mountain National Park, southern Cape Peninsula, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Gladiolus carneus Gladiolus carneus

Gladiolus carneus flowering in summer among restios in the Table Mountain National Park, southern Cape Peninsula, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Gladiolus carneus. [photo H.G. Robertson, Iziko ]

Information from Goldblatt and Manning (1998).

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to the Western Cape, South Africa. Within this province it occurs in the southern regions from Cape Town to the Outeniqua Mountains (north of Knysna), and as far north as Bain's Kloof, and the Witsenberg and Skurweberg complex north of Ceres. Occurs on the lower slopes, growing in either shale or sandstone derived soils, but always in fynbos or on forest margins. Flowers particularly well after a fire or bush clearing.

Life cycle

  • A geophyte, with corms measuring 15-20 mm in diameter.
  • Flowers from October to mid-November, sometimes later.
  • Seeds are oblong, measuring 7-9 mm long by 5-6 mm wide, broadly and evenly winged.

Ecological interactions

Pollinators

  • Long-tongued flies (Diptera). Gladiolus carneus flowers has typical characteristics of flowers pollinated by long-tongued flies: (1) the flowers are pale pink to cream with linear reddish markings, and (2) the nectar has a moderately high sugar concentration, with sucrose dominating over glucose and fructose. Two species have been recorded as pollinators:
    • Nemestrinidae
      • Prosoeca nitidula
    • Tabanidae
      • Philoliche rostrata

Meaning of name

carneus means flesh-coloured in Latin, referring to the colour of the flowers.

Publications

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

Text by Hamish Robertson


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