Gladiolus bellus C.H. Wright

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Gladiolus bellus

Photo: Carl Bruessow
Mt Mulanje.

Gladiolus bellus

Photo: Carl Bruessow
Mt Mulanje.

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Common names:
Frequency: Local
Status: Native
Perennial herb 60–90 cm high growing from a corm c. 15 mm in diameter. Basal leaves 3-4, reaching to at least the base of the spike, narrowly lanceolate to more or less linear, 7–12 mm wide; midrib and margins slightly thickened; 1–2 leaves along the stem much shorter. Stem unbranched, usually arched or drooping. Spike 3–8-flowered; bracts green, becoming dry and brown above, 4–5 cm long, the inner slightly shorter than the outer. Flowers white with a large dark-red to violet spade-shaped mark on each of the lower tepals; perianth tube 4.5–9 cm long, curved outwards and flared above; tepals subequal, broadly obovate, 3–3.5 cm long. Capsules oblong-ellipsoid, 30–35 mm long.
Derivation of specific name: bellus: beautiful.
Habitat: In rocky sites as well as in wet grassland.
Altitude range: Above 1800 m
Flowering time:Mar - Jul
Worldwide distribution: Only known from Mt Mulanje in Southern Malawi.
Malawi distribution: S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status: Endemic
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 17 April 2019

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 214 - 215. (Includes a picture).

Goldblatt, P. (1993). Iridaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(4) Pages 95 - 96. (Includes a picture).

Goldblatt, P. (1996). Gladiolus in Tropical Africa Timber Press. Portland, Oregon. Pages 191 - 194. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2002). Endemics of Mt. Mulanje. The endemic spermatophytes of Mt. Mulanje, Malawi Systematics and Geography of Plants 72 Page 18.

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

Other sources of information about Gladiolus bellus:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gladiolus bellus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gladiolus bellus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gladiolus bellus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gladiolus bellus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Gladiolus bellus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gladiolus bellus
JSTOR Plant Science: Gladiolus bellus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gladiolus bellus
Plants of the World Online: Gladiolus bellus
Tropicos: Gladiolus bellus
Wikipedia: Gladiolus bellus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Gladiolus bellus., retrieved 15 July 2024

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