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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales
> Family: Iridaceae > Genus:
Information from Goldblatt (1993) and from the account of
Gladiolus oatesii in Goldblatt and Manning (1998 pp. 178-179).
- Flowers cream to light-purple, the upper tepals light- to deep-purple,
the lower tepals with deep-purple spear-shaped markings in the upper third.
- Often confused with Gladiolus
atropurpureus but can be distinguished by the gap (window) between
the uppermost tepal and the upper lateral tepals, when viewed in profile
(see image above, right).
- Also similar to Gladiolus oatesii. The main photosynthetic leaves
of Gladiolus unguiculatus are produced from separate shoots from the
same corm as the flowering stem whereas in Gladiolus oatesii, the
main photosynthetic leaves are the sheathing leaves on the flower stem. They
can also be distinguised on the basis of habitat where Gladiolus oatesii
grows in rocky situations whereas Gladiolus unguiculatus grows in
flat, wetland situations. Also note differences in their distribution (Gladiolus
oatesii occurs in southern Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and northern South
Africa whereas Gladiolus unguiculatus occurs from northern Zimbabwe
Distribution and habitat
A tropical African species with a broad distribution
extending from Senegal and Sudan to northern Zimbabwe, where it grows in flat
areas with permanent or seasonal wetlands.
- A geophyte with corms measuring 10-30 mm in diameter (usually 15-20 mm).
- Flowers from November to December.
- Fruits late December and January.
- Dormant from February to April.