Gladiolus permeabilis D. Delaroche
subsp. edulis (Burch. ex Ker Gawl.) Oberm.

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Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis

Photo: Tony Benn
Extension 15, Gaborone

Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis

Photo: Tony Benn
Extension 15, Gaborone

Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis

Photo: Tony Benn
Extension 15, Gaborone

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Gladiolus remotiflorus Baker
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial herb, 30-60 cm high growing from a corm, 10-12 mm in diameter. Basal leaves linear, up to 3 mm wide, usually shorter or as long as the stem. Upper leaves along the stem, shorter than basal leaves, often almost entirely sheathing. Inflorescence a 4-8-flowered spike. Flowers, whitish, cream, greyish or mauve, flushed with greyish-blue on the upper tepal; the keels dark purple or maroon; lower lateral tepalsyellow in the upper half. Tepals all narrowing into a long tail-like tip. Viewed from the side, the flowers show a typical "window" between the upper and lateral tepals. The flowers are intensely and sweetly scented.
Derivation of specific name: permeabilis: "allowing to pass through", referring to the gap between the upper tepal and the lateral tepals.
edulis:edible, referring to an observation made by explorer William Burchell that the corms were eaten by
Habitat: In grassland and Acacia woodland, usually on sandy soils.
Flowering time:Feb - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe. Eswatini and South Africa.
Botswana distribution: N,SE
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 14 September 2016

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 18.

Goldblatt, P. (1993). Iridaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(4) Page 75.

Goldblatt, P. (1996). Gladiolus in Tropical Africa Timber Press. Portland, Oregon. Pages 169 - 172. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 91. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 92.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 112 - 113. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 125.

Other sources of information about Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gladiolus permeabilis
African Plant Database: Gladiolus permeabilis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gladiolus permeabilis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gladiolus permeabilis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gladiolus permeabilis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Gladiolus permeabilis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gladiolus permeabilis
JSTOR Plant Science: Gladiolus permeabilis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gladiolus permeabilis
Plants of the World Online: Gladiolus permeabilis
Tropicos: Gladiolus permeabilis
Wikipedia: Gladiolus permeabilis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Gladiolus permeabilis subsp. edulis., retrieved 13 July 2024

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