Gladiolus atropurpureus Baker

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Gladiolus atropurpureus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Gladiolus atropurpureus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Gladiolus atropurpureus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Borrowdale Common, Harare

Gladiolus atropurpureus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Luna Rd, Harare

Gladiolus atropurpureus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

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

Synonyms: Gladiolus caerulescens Baker
Gladiolus flexuosus Baker
Gladiolus gracilicaulis G.J. Lewis
Gladiolus luridus Welw. ex Baker
Gladiolus whytei Baker
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial herb, growing from corms. Foliage leaves develop separately, normally after flowering. Flowers colour variable. Normally deep purple but almost white forms do occur. The lower lateral tepals are always marked with dark purple, spear-shaped markings.
Notes: This species, particularly the light-coloured form is often confused with G. unguiculatus. The latter can be distinguished by the clear "windows", formed by the non-overlapping upper tepals. The corms of G. atropurpureus are smaller and covered in distinct "skirts" of thickened fibres, while the much larger corms of G. unguiculatus have a finely fibrous, reddish covering.
Derivation of specific name: atropurpureus: dark purple
Habitat: In woodland and sub-montane grassland, often in rocky places.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Nov - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Southeastern DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 27 January 2013

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 71. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 210 - 211. (Includes a picture).

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 86 - 87. (Includes a picture).

Goldblatt, P. (1993). Iridaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(4) Pages 80 - 82. (Includes a picture).

Goldblatt, P. (1996). Gladiolus in Tropical Africa Timber Press. Portland, Oregon. Pages 126 - 130. (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.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 110.


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Other sources of information about Gladiolus atropurpureus:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Flora of Mozambique: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Flora of Zambia: Gladiolus atropurpureus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gladiolus atropurpureus
African Plant Database: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gladiolus atropurpureus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gladiolus atropurpureus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gladiolus atropurpureus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gladiolus atropurpureus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gladiolus atropurpureus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gladiolus atropurpureus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Gladiolus atropurpureus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gladiolus atropurpureus
Ispot Southern Africa: Gladiolus atropurpureus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Gladiolus atropurpureus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gladiolus atropurpureus
The Plant List (version 1.1): Gladiolus atropurpureus
Tropicos: Gladiolus atropurpureus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Gladiolus atropurpureus., retrieved 24 February 2018

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