Skip to main content

This species is accepted, and its native range is Tanzania to S. Tropical Africa.

[FZ]

Iridaceae, P. Goldblatt. Flora Zambesiaca 12:4. 1993

Habit
Plants 25–40(60) cm high.
Corms
Corms 2.5–3.5 cm in diameter; tunics straw-coloured, coriaceous, fragmenting irregularly, the outer layer sometimes becoming fibrous.
Leaves
Leaves borne on the flowering stem usually partly to entirely sheathing, hardly differing from the cataphylls,(1)2–3(more), sometimes with short blades 2–5(10) cm long, often partly dry by anthesis, occasionally flowering stems with 1–2 long-bladed leaves; foliage leaves produced after the flowers and on separate shoots, evidently solitary, ultimately at least 30 × c. 1 cm, lanceolate, the margins and midrib moderately thickened and hyaline.
Stem
Stem simple, rarely branched, 3–4 mm in diameter at the base of the spike.
Inflorescences
Spike 5–9(12)-flowered; bracts green, often flushed reddish and becoming membranous above, (15)20–28(35) mm long, the inner slightly shorter than the outer.
Flowers
Flowers orange-red to pink, rarely yellow to whitish, without markings; perianth tube (12)18–20(30) mm long, widening evenly from the base, gently curving outwards; tepals unequal, the upper 3 tepals 25–38 × 15–18 mm and strongly recurved distally, the uppermost horizontal or down-tilted, the upper lateral tepals slightly narrower and directed forwards, the lower tepals curving downwards, the lower lateral tepals c. 25 × 12–15 mm, the lowermost 30–35 mm long, often about as long as the upper.
Stamens
Filaments 8–10 mm long, included in the upper pan of the tube; anthers 10–12 mm long.
Style
Style dividing 2–3 mm beyond the apex of the anthers, style branches 6–8 mm long.
Fruits
Capsules 15–20(25) mm long, oblong to ellipsoid.

[FWTA]

Iridaceae, F. N. Hepper. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3:1. 1968

Habit
A herb with almost leafless stems 2-3 ft. high
Flowers
Pale pink flowers
Ecology
In rocky upland savanna.

[FTEA]

Iridaceae, Peter Goldblatt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1996

Habit
Plants 25-40(-60) cm. high.
Corms
Corm 2.5-3.5 cm. in diameter, tunics coriaceous, fragmenting irregularly, straw-coloured, the outer layer sometimes becoming fibrous.
Leaves
Foliage leaves of the flowering stem usually all partly to entirely sheathing, (1-)2-3(or more), hardly differing from the cataphylls, sometimes with short blades 2-5(-10) cm. long, often partly dry by anthesis; foliage leaves produced after flowering on separate shoots, evidently solitary, lanceolate, ultimately at least 30 cm. long, ± 1 cm. wide, the margins and midrib moderately thickened and hyaline; occasionally flowering stems with 1-2 long-laminate leaves.
Stem
Stem unbranched, rarely branched, 3-4 mm. in diameter at the base of the spike.
Inflorescences
Spike 5-9(-12)-flowered; bracts (1.5-)2-2.8(-3.5) cm. long, green, often flushed reddish and becoming membranous above, the inner slightly shorter than the outer.
Flowers
Flowers either orange-red to pink or rarely yellow to whitish, without markings; perianth-tube (1.2-)1.8-2 cm. long, widening evenly from the base, gently curving outward; tepals unequal, the upper 3 2.5-3.8 × 1.5-1.8 cm., strongly recurved distally, the dorsal horizontal or down-tilted, the upper laterals slightly narrower, directed forwards, the lower tepals curving downwards, the lower laterals ± 2.5 × 1.2-1.5 cm., the lowermost 3-3.5 cm. long, often ± as long as the upper.
Stamens
Filaments 8-10 mm. long, included in the upper part of the tube; anthers 0.7-1.2 cm. long.
Style
Style dividing 2-3 mm. beyond the apex of the anthers, the branches 6-8 mm. long.
Fruits
Capsules oblong-obovoid, 1.5-2(-2.5) cm. long.
Habitat
Seasonally wet sites, such as the margins of valley grassland and in poorly drained wooded grassland; flowering at the end of the dry season, from August to November; 1200-2600 m.; flowering is stimulated by fire and signs of burning are common on specimens
Distribution
T4 T7

Native to:

Angola, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Gladiolus melleri Baker appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Milne-Redhead, E. [3962], Angola 38389.000
Bullock, A.A. [1936], Tanzania 24263.000
Kirk [s.n.], Malawi K000320832 Unknown type material
Kirk [s.n.], Malawi K000320835 lectotype
Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000320830 lectotype
Whyte, A. [s.n.], Malawi K000320831 syntype
Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Malawi K000320833 syntype
Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Malawi K000320834 syntype

First published in J. Bot. 14: 334 (1876)

Accepted by

  • Geerinck, D (2005). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaïre - Rwanda - Burundi) Iridaceae: 1-102. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique, Meise.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS G: 1-40325.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Bot. Mag. t. 8626
  • F.T.A. 7: 362.
  • in J. Bot. 14: 334 (1876)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Geerinck, D (2005). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaïre - Rwanda - Burundi) Iridaceae: 1-102. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique, Meise.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Goldblatt in Gladiolus Trop. Afr.: 242 (1996).
  • Goldblatt in Flora Zambesiaca 12(4): 97 (1993)
  • Baker in Flora of Tropical Africa 7: 362 (1898).
  • Baker in Handb. Irid.: 212 (1892)
  • Baker in Journal of Botany 14: 334 (1876)

Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0