South African Gladiolus
We delight in the huge diversity of the wild species and more natural-looking hybrids. The winter growers need protection from severe frost, although they will survive very low night temperatures briefly. We recommend Goldblatt & Manning’s authoritative and beautiful ‘Gladiolus in Southern Africa’ for anyone wanting to get their head around the bewildering diversity of this genus. Mostly in small numbers, we’ll probably have to limit several to 1 per customer, but if you don’t ask you won’t get.
Plant names highlighted in green have images attached, click to view.
Gladiolus angustus £3.75 WINTER GROWER
A rather chunky winter grower whose large creamy flowers have an extremely long tube which, once you get your head around pollination in African Iridaceae, screams ‘long tongued flies’ at you. We find it easy in pots with unheated winter protection.
Gladiolus carinatus £4 WINTER GROWER
Delicate blue-lilac flowers, with yellow too on the lower tepals; deliciously fragrant. Slender, around 40cm tall. We’ve grown it in pots so far, but it’s said to make a good garden plant in winter-rainfall parts of South Africa - sun and excellent drainage here. A traditional cut flower in the Western Cape.
Gladiolus carneus pink £4 WINTER GROWER
A compact plant, well suited to a pot in the cool greenhouse, yet with substantial flowers. This form has clear pink flowers flashed red-pink on the three lower segments.
Gladiolus x colvillii £4 WINTER GROWER
This name refers to primary hybrids between G. cardinalis and G. tristis. The classic white flowered ‘The Bride’ is traditionally, and perhaps correctly attributed to x colvillii. Our form is a wonderful rich purplish red, with white flashes on the lower three segments. It is upstanding, about 60cm tall, and flowers very late in spring, after tristis. Winter growing of course, but perfectly do-able outside where you would grow tristis. Alternatively, a big potful in the cold greenhouse looks a treat. Thanks to Diane Rowe.
Gladiolus dalenii yellow £4 SUMMER GROWER
A South African, yellow flowered form of this relatively hardy, variable classic.
Gladiolus ‘David Hills’ £4.50 SUMMER GROWER
Upstanding stems with medium sized, somewhat hooded flowers, red on the backs, a rather peachy red inside with yellow throat. A straightforward tough plant, but absolutely NOT a form of papilio as it is usually labelled.
Gladiolus huttonii x tristis £4 WINTER GROWER
Scarlet with a yellow throat and edging, this showy self supporting plant gives a blast of summer colour in spring. As easy and self-supporting as G. tristis, and shares its growth cycle despite coming from the Eastern Cape coast. I suspect some hybridity with tristis.
Gladiolus miniatus£3.75 WINTER GROWER
Coastal limestone endemic from the Western Cape. Low, but rather broad leaved plants, good sized salmon pink flowers on out-turned spikes in spring. Very scarce in the wild and in cultivation.
Gladiolus oppositiflorus £5 SUMMER GROWER
A rather sturdy plant from KwaZulu-Natal and the eastern Cape, this form is about 50cm tall with large salmon pink flowers in two ranks, but not in a single plane, typical of inland populations. Nearly as hardy as dalenii, and usually flowering in September. Voluptuous but not (quite) blowsy.
Gladiolus papilio £4.50 SUMMER GROWER
Slaty purple flowers on 1.2m stems. Vigorous and hardy. Grows a treat in our wet clay.
Gladiolus ‘Ruby’ £4.50 SUMMER GROWER
A stunning, easy hybrid of G. papilio. The flowers are much larger and broader than in papilio, of a luscious purple-red, normally in July. It can safely be left out over winter, at least on reasonably well-drained soils in southern England. Jan and Rob Wagstaff use it to stunning effect, constantly commented upon by visitors, in the ‘African’ section of their garden in the high, frosty middle of the South Hams.
Gladiolus ‘Spinners’ £5 SUMMER GROWER
Slightly pinkish red flowers with pale yellow throat. Tall spikes of big flowers stay just within the bounds of good taste. Really rather hardy. Previously listed as garnieri but it proves to a hybrid, presumably of that elusive Madagascan species.
Gladiolus tristis £4 WINTER GROWER
Easy, with fragrant cream flowers on 75cm stems which don’t flop, in early spring. Potsfull.
Gladiolus tristis hybrids £4 WINTER GROWER
We’re hard at work here, and the plants are causing a bit of a stir in flower at April shows. But it would be pot luck by mail order and you might get something very like straight tristis.
Gladiolus undulatus £4 WINTER GROWER
Fairly tall and stout, with extremely long-tubed flowers, cream, marked red on the lower tepals. From moist stony ground.
For all those interested in South African plants we've also put all our listings of South African
bulbs and plants onto one website we've called South African Bulbs at Desirable Plants.
The order forms below can be filled in electronically for sending by e-mail, or printed, for sending by post. See Ordering and Carriage. The *.doc file is included for those who have Microsoft Word or Open Office; for those who don't a *.rtf file has been included and this will open Wordpad, which is usually included with all Microsoft operating systems. If you have any problems please E-Mail us.
Order Form 2013-14 (Microsoft Word Format *.doc)
Order Form 2013-14 (Rich Text Format *.rtf)
Order Form 2013-14 (PDF Format *.pdf)
New twice yearly e-Catalogue
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