Critically Endangered Gladiolus roseovenosus

Gladiolus roseovenosus
roseovenosus = red-veined, named for the markings.
Common name: Ruiterbospypie
Family: Iridaceae
Status: Critically Endangered
Distribution: George to Robinson pass near Ruiterbos.

Description: A 30-50cm tall deciduous geophyte. Leaves 4, the short blade is 1.5-2mm wide, the margins and midrib thickened. Flowers large, white to pale pink with red feathery streaks mainly on the lower tepals. Capsule description and seeds unknown.

Ecology: It grows on peaty sandstone derived soils on flat areas or gentle slopes. Pollinators were not observed before, it was believed to be long-tongue flies.

It was historically only known from 4 populations. One population was destroyed by afforestation and the remaining populations had no more than 20 plants each. It was estimated when assessed in 2008 that there were no more than 200 plants remaining in the wild.

Gondwana Game Reserve:
First observed in 2019 in Red hartebeest Valley. Observed 60 plants from 3 locations (Red hartebeest Valley, West of Jo’s Bridge and Protea Forest) in 2020.
Observed 45 plants in 2021 from 4 locations (New population Lehele valley). Observed 14 plants on 10 February 2022 in the newly burnt block from Lehele-West to Lehele. It is believed that the plants are stimulated by fire, the reason for the early flowering. They usually flower from the 25th of February to deep into March.

We are currently monitoring and mapping these plants. We would appreciate any
information on plants seen, or photos of possibly pollinators on plants.

You may also like