Gladiolus gracillimus Baker
  • Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1895: 74 (1895) 


Notes: Distribution: Tanzania to Zambia

General Description

Plants 15-30(-40) cm. high. Corms 9-12 mm. in diameter, tunics of fine netted fibres, occasionally extending upward in a weakly developed neck. Foliage leaves 2, the lower basal, tightly sheathing the stem for 1/2-3/4 of its length, the blade usually reaching to ± the top of the spike, the upper leaf inserted shortly below the spike, shorter or sometimes exceeding the apex of the lower leaf, blades linear, 3-5 cm. long, 0.5-1 mm. wide, the margins and midrib somewhat to moderately thickened and with 2 fairly narrow grooves on each surface. Stem erect, unbranched, sheathed for most of its length, flexed sharply outward above the sheath of the upper leaf. spike inclined ± 45° or more, flexuose, 2-4(-7)-flowered; bracts 7-10 mm. long, green, sometimes flushed purple, the inner slightly shorter than the outer. Flowers usually pale blue to lilac, occasionally white, the lower 3 tepals each with a dark blue to purple diamond-shaped marking in the upper half, or uniformly purple, or pale yellow to greenish with deep yellow markings on the lower 3 tepals; perianth-tube 7-10 mm. long, curved outward and emerging between the bracts; tepals unequal, the dorsal (8-)10-15 × 8-11 mm., largest, arched over the stamens, the upper laterals directed forward, the lower 3 united for 3-4 mm., held close together, ± horizontal or tilted downward, 7-12 × 4-5 mm., in profile much exceeding the upper, abruptly narrowed below into claws. Filaments 6-8 mm. long, usually exserted 3-4 mm.; anthers 4.5-6 mm. long. Style dividing at the apex of the anthers, branches 1.5-2 mm. long. Capsules obovate, 7-8 mm. long. Fig. 14/6-7.

NOTE. Distinctive in the pale blue flowers borne on a strongly inclined spike and unusual in having only two foliage leaves, the lower sheathing the stem for most of its length and with a short linear blade that usually exceeds the short upper leaf. This vegetative form shared by the Zairean {i}G. tshombeanus{/i} P.A. Duvign. & Van Bockstal and largely Zambian {i}G. pusillus{/i}, the latter distinguished from {i}G. gracillimus{/i} by its very small, usually yellow flowers.

Plants small, 15–30(40) cm high. Corms 9–12 mm in diameter; tunics of fine netted fibres, occasionally extending upward in a weakly developed neck. Foliage leaves 2, the lower one basal and tightly sheathing the stem for half to three-quarters of its length with the blade usually reaching to about the top of the spike, the upper leaf inserted shortly below the spike and shorter or sometimes exceeding the apex of the lower leaf; blades 3–5 cm long and 0.5–1 mm wide, linear with 2 fairly narrow grooves on each surface, the margins and midrib somewhat to moderately thickened. Stem erect, unbranched, sheathed for most of its length, flexed sharply outward above the sheath of the upper leaf. Spike 2–4(7)-flowered, inclined at an angle of c. 45° or more, flexuous; bracts green. sometimes flushed purple, 7–10 mm long, the inner slightly shorter than the outer. Flowers usually pale-blue to lilac, occasionally white, the lower 3 tepals each with a dark-blue to purple diamond-shaped marking in the upper half, or flowers uniformly purple, or pale-yellow to greenish with deep-yellow markings on the lower 3 tepals; perianth tube 7–10 mm long, curved outward and emerging from between the bracts; tepals unequal, the uppermost (8)10–15 × 8–11 mm, larger than the others and arched over the stamens, the upper lateral tepals directed forward, the lower 3 tepals 7–12 4–5 mm, much exceeding the upper when viewed in profile, united for 3–4 mm, held close together, more or less horizontal or tilted downward, abruptly narrowed below into claws. Filaments 6–8 mm long, usually exserted 3–4 mm; anthers 4.5–6 mm long. Style dividing at the apex of the anthers, style branches 1.5–2 mm long. Capsules 7–8 mm long, obovate-ellipsoid.

Notes: Flowering in November to December, and occasionally into early January, at the end of the dry season or early in the wet season.This species is distinctive in its pale-blue flowers borne on a strongly inclined spike. It is unusual in having only two foliage leaves, the lower of which sheaths the stem for most of its length and has a short linear blade that usually exceeds the short upper leaf. This vegetative form is also seen in the Zairean species G.tshombeanus Duvigneaud & Van Bockstael, and in the largely Zambian species G. pusillus. The latter may be distinguished from G.gracillimus by its very small, usually yellow flowers.

Plants 15-30(-40) cm. high. Corms 9-12 mm. in diameter, tunics of fine netted fibres, occasionally extending upward in a weakly developed neck. Foliage leaves 2, the lower basal, tightly sheathing the stem for 1/2-3/4 of its length, the blade usually reaching to ± the top of the spike, the upper leaf inserted shortly below the spike, shorter or sometimes exceeding the apex of the lower leaf, blades linear, 3-5 cm. long, 0.5-1 mm. wide, the margins and midrib somewhat to moderately thickened and with 2 fairly narrow grooves on each surface. Stem erect, unbranched, sheathed for most of its length, flexed sharply outward above the sheath of the upper leaf. spike inclined ± 45° or more, flexuose, 2-4(-7)-flowered; bracts 7-10 mm. long, green, sometimes flushed purple, the inner slightly shorter than the outer. Flowers usually pale blue to lilac, occasionally white, the lower 3 tepals each with a dark blue to purple diamond-shaped marking in the upper half, or uniformly purple, or pale yellow to greenish with deep yellow markings on the lower 3 tepals; perianth-tube 7-10 mm. long, curved outward and emerging between the bracts; tepals unequal, the dorsal (8-)10-15 × 8-11 mm., largest, arched over the stamens, the upper laterals directed forward, the lower 3 united for 3-4 mm., held close together, ± horizontal or tilted downward, 7-12 × 4-5 mm., in profile much exceeding the upper, abruptly narrowed below into claws. Filaments 6-8 mm. long, usually exserted 3-4 mm.; anthers 4.5-6 mm. long. Style dividing at the apex of the anthers, branches 1.5-2 mm. long. Capsules obovate, 7-8 mm. long. Fig. 14/6-7. NOTE. Distinctive in the pale blue flowers borne on a strongly inclined spike and unusual in having only two foliage leaves, the lower sheathing the stem for most of its length and with a short linear blade that usually exceeds the short upper leaf. This vegetative form shared by the Zairean {i}G. tshombeanus{/i} P.A. Duvign. & Van Bockstal and largely Zambian {i}G. pusillus{/i}, the latter distinguished from {i}G. gracillimus{/i} by its very small, usually yellow flowers. HAB. In wet habitats, mostly either permanently or seasonally waterlogged valleys; 1300-2000 m.; flowering November to December, occasionally into early January, at the end of the dry season or early in the wet season ; 1300-2000 m. DISTR. T 4, 7;

Plants small, 15–30(40) cm high. Corms 9–12 mm in diameter; tunics of fine netted fibres, occasionally extending upward in a weakly developed neck. Foliage leaves 2, the lower one basal and tightly sheathing the stem for half to three-quarters of its length with the blade usually reaching to about the top of the spike, the upper leaf inserted shortly below the spike and shorter or sometimes exceeding the apex of the lower leaf; blades 3–5 cm long and 0.5–1 mm wide, linear with 2 fairly narrow grooves on each surface, the margins and midrib somewhat to moderately thickened. Stem erect, unbranched, sheathed for most of its length, flexed sharply outward above the sheath of the upper leaf. Spike 2–4(7)-flowered, inclined at an angle of c. 45° or more, flexuous; bracts green. sometimes flushed purple, 7–10 mm long, the inner slightly shorter than the outer. Flowers usually pale-blue to lilac, occasionally white, the lower 3 tepals each with a dark-blue to purple diamond-shaped marking in the upper half, or flowers uniformly purple, or pale-yellow to greenish with deep-yellow markings on the lower 3 tepals; perianth tube 7–10 mm long, curved outward and emerging from between the bracts; tepals unequal, the uppermost (8)10–15 × 8–11 mm, larger than the others and arched over the stamens, the upper lateral tepals directed forward, the lower 3 tepals 7–12 4–5 mm, much exceeding the upper when viewed in profile, united for 3–4 mm, held close together, more or less horizontal or tilted downward, abruptly narrowed below into claws. Filaments 6–8 mm long, usually exserted 3–4 mm; anthers 4.5–6 mm long. Style dividing at the apex of the anthers, style branches 1.5–2 mm long. Capsules 7–8 mm long, obovate-ellipsoid. Flowering in November to December, and occasionally into early January, at the end of the dry season or early in the wet season.This species is distinctive in its pale-blue flowers borne on a strongly inclined spike. It is unusual in having only two foliage leaves, the lower of which sheaths the stem for most of its length and has a short linear blade that usually exceeds the short upper leaf. This vegetative form is also seen in the Zairean species G.tshombeanus Duvigneaud & Van Bockstael, and in the largely Zambian species G. pusillus. The latter may be distinguished from G.gracillimus by its very small, usually yellow flowers. In seasonally waterlogged dambos, swampy places, or seasonally wet shallow soil over laterite.

Habit

habit: herb herb(genus)

Habitat

HAB. In wet habitats, mostly either permanently or seasonally waterlogged valleys; 1300-2000 m.; flowering November to December, occasionally into early January, at the end of the dry season or early in the wet season

In seasonally waterlogged dambos, swampy places, or seasonally wet shallow soil over laterite.

Distribution

DISTR. T 4, 7;

  • Tanzania
    • Mbeya District:: Mbosi, 19 Nov. 1932, R.M. Davies 704! & Ruaha National Park at Magangwe Ranger Post, 14 Dec. 1972, Bjørnstad 2090!
    • Ufipa District:: near Tatanda, 11 Nov. 1986, Goldblatt, Brummitt & Lovett 8138!;

  • Malawi
    • N: between Chinunka and Ifumbo, c. 16 km E of Chitipa, 27.xii.1970, Pawek 4182 (K; MAL; SRGH).
  • Zambia
    • N: Mbala Distr., near Nakatali Farm, 14.xi.1965, Richards 20655 (BR; K; LISC).

Malawi N: between Chinunka and Ifumbo, c. 16 km E of Chitipa, 27.xii.1970, Pawek 4182 (K; MAL; SRGH). Zambia N: Mbala Distr., near Nakatali Farm, 14.xi.1965, Richards 20655 (BR; K; LISC). RANGE: SW Tanzania

Tanzania Mbeya District:: Mbosi, 19 Nov. 1932, R.M. Davies 704! & Ruaha National Park at Magangwe Ranger Post, 14 Dec. 1972, Bjørnstad 2090! Ufipa District:: near Tatanda, 11 Nov. 1986, Goldblatt, Brummitt & Lovett 8138!; RANGE: Malawi; Zambia

Type Material

Type: Zambia, Lake Tanganyika, Fwambo, {i}Carson{/i} 118/1893 (K, holo.!)

Literature

in K.B. 1895: 74 (1895) & in F.T.A. 7: 363 (1898); Geerinck in B.J.B.B. 42: 275 (1972); Goldblatt in F.Z. 12(4): 83 (1993) & Gladiolus Trop. Afr.: 164 (1996).

in Bull. Misc. Inform., Kew 1895: 74 (1895); in F.T.A. 7: 363 (1898). — Geerinck in Bull. Jard. Bot. Belg. 42: 275 (1972) pro pane. TAB. 24 fig. B. Type: Zambia, Fwambo (Lake Tanganyika), in 1893, Carson 118 (K, holotype).

Distribution Map

 
  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Tanzania
  • South Tropical Africa Malawi
  • Zambia

  Bibliography

  • 1 Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS G: 1-40325.
  • 2 Peter Goldblatt (1996) Iridaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa
  • 3 P. Goldblatt (1993) Iridaceae. Flora Zambesiaca 12(4)

 Information From

Flora of Tropical East Africa (FTEA)
http://kew.org/efloras/
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2004. eFloras: Iridaceae. [online] Available at: http://kew.org/efloras/ [Accessed 2013-08-02]
  • A All Rights Reserved
  • B http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
Flora Zambesiaca (FZ)
http://kew.org/efloras/
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2004. eFloras: Iridaceae. [online] Available at: http://kew.org/efloras/ [Accessed 2013-08-02]
  • C All Rights Reserved
  • D http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
eFloras: Iridaceae
http://kew.org/efloras/
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2004. eFloras: Iridaceae. [online] Available at: http://kew.org/efloras/ [Accessed 2012-06-22]
  • E All Rights Reserved
  • F © Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
eMonocot
http://e-monocot.org
eMonocot. (2010, 1st November). Retrieved Wednesday, 8th February, 2012, from http://e-monocot.org.
  • G Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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