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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa to Botswana.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Plants 30-60 cm. high.
Vegetative Multiplication Corms
Corm 1.5-2.5(-3.5) cm. in diameter, often dark red on the outside and sometimes internally, tunics membranous and irregularly broken to fibrous and reticulate, red-brown.
Morphology Leaves
Foliage leaves (of the flowering stem) usually short and entirely sheathing (then hardly distinguishable from the cataphylls) or with a short blade (rarely 2 basal leaves fairly well developed and with limbs exceeding the sheaths); foliage leaves produced after flowering on separate shoots after blooming, (?1-)2-3, linear to narrowly lanceolate, ultimately 30-45 cm. long, 4-8(-12) mm. wide, the margins and midrib lightly thickened and hyaline; sheathing leaves 3-5, usually 6-9 cm. long, somewhat longer below and exceeding the internodes, shorter above and shorter than the internodes, thus imbricate below but rarely so above, sometimes the lower with blades up to 4 cm. long.
Morphology Stem
Stem erect, rarely branched.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Spike 10-18-flowered; bracts 1-1.5 cm. long, green, the inner somewhat shorter to nearly as long as the outer.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cream to light purple, the dorsal tepals flushed light to deep purple, the lower each with deep purple spear-shaped marking in the upper third, surrounded by a lighter area, sometimes with a dark spot at the base of the dorsal tepal; in profile windowed with a gap between the dorsal and upper lateral tepals; perianth-tube ± 1 cm. long, curving outward between the bracts, widening near the mouth; tepals unequal, the dorsal largest, 1.8-2(-2.4) × 1-1.2 cm., arched over the stamens and style, much narrower toward the base, the upper laterals smaller, joined to the lower 3 for 3-5 mm., directed forward, curving outward toward the apices, the lower 3 tepals smallest, usually united for 1-2 mm., horizontal or directed downward distally, in profile usually exceeding the dorsal, 1-1.2 cm. long, narrowed below into claws, the limbs abruptly expanded.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Filaments 1-1.2 cm. long, exserted 4-5 mm.; anthers 6-8 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style dividing opposite the lower half of the anthers, the branches 2-2.5 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules ellipsoid-ovoid, 1.2-1.6 cm. long.
Figures
Fig. 13/1-3.
Habitat
Seasonally wet sites with shallow soils and poor drainage, thus often found in wet flushes in rock outcrops and along the margins of valley grassland; 800-2200 m.; flowering at the end of the dry season or early in the wet season, October to December; often a conspicuous element of the prerain or early wet season flora
Distribution
widespread from Senegal to Sudan and south to Angola and Zimbabwe. T4 T7 T8

[FZ]

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

Morphology General Habit
Plants 30–60 cm high.
Vegetative Multiplication Corms
Corms 15–25(35) mm in diameter, often dark-red on the outside and sometimes internally; tunics red-brown, membranous and irregularly broken or fibrous and reticulate.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves of the flowering stem are usually short, entirely stem sheathing and hardly distinguishable from the cataphylls, or these sometimes with a short isobilateral blade, rarely do 2 basal leaves become fairly well developed and with blades exceeding the sheaths; sheathing leaves 3–5, usually 6–9 cm long, the lower ones exceeding the internodes, the upper ones shorter than the internodes, thus imbricate below but rarely so above, sometimes the lower ones with blades up to 4 cm long; (1)2–3 foliage leaves are produced on separate shoots after the plants have flowered (hysteranthous leaves), these ultimately 30–45 cm long and 4–8(12) mm wide, linear to narrowly lanceolate, with margins and midrib slightly thickened and hyaline.
Morphology Stem
Stem erect, rarely branched.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Spike 10–18-flowered; bracts green, 10–15 mm long, the inner somewhat shorter than, to nearly equalling, the outer in length.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers cream to light-purple, the upper tepals flushed light- to deep-purple, the lower each with deep-purple spear-shaped marking in the upper third, surrounded by a lighter area, sometimes with a dark spot at the base of the uppermost tepal, flowers windowed when viewed in profile, with a gap between the uppermost tepal and the upper lateral tepals; perianth tube c. 10 mm long, curving outward from between the bracts, widening near the mouth; tepals unequal, the uppermost 18–20(24) × (8)10–12 mm, larger than the others and arched over the stamens and style and much narrower toward the base, the upper lateral tepals smaller, joined to the lower 3 for 3–5 mm, directed forward and ultimately curving outwards, the lower 3 tepals smaller than the others, usually exceeding the uppermost when viewed in profile, 10–12 mm long, usually united for 1–2 mm, horizontal or directed downward distally, narrowed below into claws, the limbs abruptly expanded.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Filaments 10–12 mm long, exserted 4–5 mm; anthers yellow, 6–8 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style dividing opposite the lower half of the anthers; style branches 2–2.5 mm long, reaching to between the middle and apices of the anthers.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules 12–16 mm long, ellipsoid-ovoid.

[FWTA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Slender herb about 1 ft. high
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers dull purple fading to white
Ecology
In moist ground in savanna.

Native to:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Chad, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Gladiolus unguiculatus Baker appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2004 Pollard, B.J. [974], Cameroon K000212826
Jan 1, 2004 Pollard, B.J. [937], Cameroon K000212825
Dec 1, 2003 Onana, J.-M. [2037], Cameroon K000212820
Milne-Redhead, E. [2972], Zambia 38392.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [3453], Zambia 38410.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [3316], Zambia 38422.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [3087], Zambia 38430.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [3231], Zambia 38432.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [2873], Zambia 38441.000
Milne-Redhead, E. [3317], Zambia 38469.000
Morson [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000320719 holotype
Chevalier, A. [8662], Central African Republic K000320728 Unknown type material
Cecil, E. [129], Zimbabwe K000320784
Welwitsch [1534], Angola K000320785 isolectotype
Oates, F. [s.n.], Zimbabwe K000320783 holotype

First published in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 16: 178 (1877)

Accepted by

  • Andrews, F.W. (1956). The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: i-viii, 1-579. T.Buncle & co., LTD., Arbroath, Scotland.
  • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 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.
  • Lejoly, J., Ndjele, L. & Geerinck, D. (2008). Flore de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 24: 1-37.
  • Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 30: 1-307.
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
  • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.

Not accepted by

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers. [Cited as Gladiolus atropurpureus.]

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 7: 372
  • Mildbr. in Engl., Bot. Jahrb. 58: 232, for full synonymy.
  • in J. Linn. Soc. 16: 178 (1877)

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Geerinck, D (2005). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaïre - Rwanda - Burundi) Iridaceae: 1-102. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique, Meise.
  • Lejoy, J., Ndjele, M.-B. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Catalogue-flore des plantes vasculaires des districts de Kisangani et de la Tshopo (RD Congo) Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 30: 1-307.
  • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Baker in Flora of Tropical Africa 7: 372 (1898).
  • Baker in Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 16: 178 (1877)
  • G.J. Lewis et al. in Journ. S. Afr. Bot., Suppl. 10: 292 (1972).
  • Goldblatt in Flora Zambesiaca 12(4): 76 (1993)
  • Goldblatt in Gladiolus Trop. Afr.: 119 (1996).
  • Hepper, Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 3: 144 (1968).
  • Mildbr. in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 52: 232 (1923).
  • Wickens, Fl. Jebel Marra: 158 (1976).

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
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