Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gladiolus papilio




G. papilio grows in the summer rainfall regions of South Africa, often in marshy places. The two plants pictured came from Seneca Hills Nursery, though the red purple one may be a hybrid, according to Ellen Hornig. It apparently came up in the same batch of seed the more typical greenish yellow form came from, and some (lucky) customers like myself got it when we ordererd G. papilio bulbs from her. It is a gorgeous thing, perhaps the result of hybridizing with G. ecklonii, a species with densely spotted flowers. I've dug the corms and stored them inside for the winter until I have enough increase to leave some outside. They should be hardy, since I also have been growing another collection of G. papilio made in the old Transvaal province for several years outside without issue. It is similar to the greenish yellow form pictured, but with a less prominant dark blotch. G. papilio multiplies freely via corms produced at the ends of runners, (similar to G. dalenii, a much larger species), though it needs good sun to flower well.

2 comments:

Acantholimon said...

Wonderful pix: I haven't grown these yet. Better crack open my Goldblatt and do some research! Glad you're posting again...

Greensparrow said...

Gorgeous! I've been wanting to get into the species gladiolus, but it seems hard to find good info on hardiness (well, what else is new) What zone are you in? And, would I be right in assuming good drainage is of prime importance to over winter these guys?