T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Gladiolus undulates (Wild Gladiolus)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Ixioideae
Tribe: Ixieae
Genus: Gladiolus
Species: G. undulatus
Binomial name: Gladiolus undulates
Synonym: Gladiolus cuspidatus
Common name: Wild Gladiolus, Waved-Flowered Gladiolus, Large painted lady, Large white Afrikaner, Wavy gladiolus,

Gladiolus undulates is a perennial herb native to southern Africa (i.e. south-western Cape Province in South Africa). It produces short-lived (i.e. annual) stems and leaves each year from long-lived (i.e. perennial) underground 'bulbs' (i.e. corms) 2-3 cm across. It grows up to 60cm high. 
The large strap-like, green leaves (25-75 cm long and 5-20 mm wide) are mostly clustered towards the base of the stems. The leaves have distinctive deep red-purple sheathes.
The whitish or cream coloured, sometimes purple-striped tubular flowers (Dec) form a small loose cluster at the tips of the flowering stems.

In Australia and New Zealand, it invades wetlands and riparian areas (Weber, 2003), as well as disturbed habitats such as drainage channels and roadsides (Richardson et al., 2006). However, in these countries it only reproduces vegetatively by cormels because its specialised pollinator does not occur there. Cormels are spread by water in streams or drains and through the movement of soil via fill material, roading machinery. If produced, seeds are wind-dispersed.





The purple stem sheath and the many underground 'bulbs' ( corms) 2-3 cm across. Each one of these bulbs can grow into another plant.