The Florist and Pomologist, 3rd series 2: 121 (May 1869)


IN the subject of the accompanying plate we have a very beautiful and entirely novel species of the popular genus Gladiolus. It was received from Natal by Mr. Bull, of Chelsea, with whom it flowered during the past summer, when our figure was taken. As will be seen from Mr. Fitch's excellent representation, it is not only a very showy plant, but also one of a very distinct character, and we believe it will be welcomed as a grand acquisition for the flower-garden, on account of its vigorous habit of growth, and its large brilliantly-coloured flowers. It will probably be also of great value to the hybridizer, and may be expected to impart some novelty of feature to the popular varieties of this favourite flower. As a species it is remarkable for its almost regular periantli, with blunt emarginate segments, but it has entirely the habit and aspect of the ordinary garden varieties of Gladiolus.

The plant produces a tall scape, 2 ft. high or upwards, furnished with long flag-like glaucous leaves, nearly an inch wide, the scape terminating in a distichous spike of about a dozen large broadly-campanulate subringent flowers of a bright blood-red colour, the segments of which are obovate or oblong. spathulate, and emarginate, the upper ones being more prominent, somewhat larger than the lower, and uniformly coloured, while the lower smaller ones are somewhat recurved, crimson at the base, and scarlet at the apex. The two lateral ones of the lower lip are marked about half-way down with a white zone dotted with crimson, which on the exterior edge runs out into a long point, like the flame of the florists' tulip. The base of the segments, where they pass into the slender tube, is marbled with yellowish green. The stamens have red filaments, supporting linear purple anthers. — M.