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Gladiolus crassifolius (Thick-leaved gladiolus)

[= Gladiolus dieterlenii]

kxahla-e-nyenyane, khahla-e-nyenyane [South Sotho]; sidvwana [Swazi]; igulusha, ingangulazi [Zulu]

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 crassifolius Gladiolus crassifolius

Gladiolus crassifolius flowering near Connemara Dam, World's View, Troutbeck, Zimbabwe. [photo Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Gladiolus crassifolius flowering in Chinyakwaremba, Vumba, Zimbabwe. [photo Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Gladiolus crassifolius Gladiolus crassifolius

Gladiolus crassifolius flowering near Connemara Dam, World's View, Troutbeck, Zimbabwe. [photos Bart Wursten , Flora of Zimbabwe]

Information from Goldblatt and Manning (1998).

Distribution and habitat

Has a broad distribution that includes soutwestern Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, western Angola, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. In southern Africa, it occurs from Limpopo Province, south to Elliot in the Eastern Cape. It also occurs to the west as far as Krugersdorp and Rustenburg. Plants grow in grasslands on well-drained rocky hillsides.

Life cycle

  • A geophyte, with corms measuring 18-30 mm in diameter.
  • Flowers in late summer, mainly from February to March but can be earlier or later at higher elevations. In tropical Africa it usually flowers from April to June but also from August to November. Flowers particularly after fires.
  • Seeds eliptic, measuring 4-6 mm long by 2.5-4 mm wide, broadly winged.

Ecological interactions

Pollinators

  • Long-tongued bees feed on nectar and pollen, including:
    • Amegilla capensis in the Drakensberg
  • Long-tongued flies including:
    • Prosoeca sp. (Nemestrinidae) in Zimbabwe

Derivation of name

crassifolius has a Latin derivation and means thick-leaved, which refers to the strongly ribbed, thick, leathery leaves.

Links

Publications

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

Text by Hamish Robertson


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