Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Iridaceae

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 36 (1753).

Derivation: Latin gladiolus, the name of some local species of the genus in Roman times; from gladiolus, a small sword; referring to the sword-shaped leaves.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Gladioli.

Deciduous glabrous perennial herbs dormant in summer; corm annual, depressed-globose, with fibrous to papery tunics; leaves basal and near-basal, equitant, distichous, linear to sword-shaped.

Scape terete, robust, erect, unbranched, partly sheathed by leaves; spike distichous or one-sided, dense to loose; flowers sessile, zygomorphic, large, solitary in each spathe; bracts large, paired, keeled, rigidly herbaceous, the outer one longer than the inner; perianth tube funne-shaped, curved; lobes subequal to unequal, often contracted into claws at the base; stamens inserted on the tube, free, unilateral; anthers linear, slightly sagittate, versatile, included; style fillform with 3 short recurved entire cuneate branches.

Capsule ellipsoid to ovoid, leathery to papery; seeds numerous, flat, surrounded by an elliptical wing. (G. J. Lewis & A. A. Obermeyer (1972) Jl S. Afr. Bot. Suppl. 10.)

Distribution:  About 180 species in Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe and south-western Asia.

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Hybrids of the South African species are common in horticulture, and 9 species are naturalised in Australia.

Key to Species:
1. Basal leaf solitary, 2-4 mm wide, cross-shaped in section
G. tristis 5.
1. Basal leaves 2 or more, at least 8 mm wide, flat
2. Perianth lobes long-acuminate with tapering undulate tips
G. undulatus 6.
2. Perianth lobes acute to subacute
3. Perianth bilabiate, purple, the tube manifestly shorter than the lobes
G. communis 3.
3. Perianth not bilabiate, white to pink, the tube longer than or subequal to the lobes
4. Perianth tube about twice as long as the lobes
G. angustus 1.
4. Perianth tube subequal to the lobes
5. Spike straight, distichous
G. carneus 2.
5. Spike curved, one-sided
G. floribundus 4.

Author: Not yet available

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