Gladiolus debilis Ker-Gawl.

Half-hardy cormous perennial with up to 4, narrow, linear leaves, and unbranched flowering stems to 65cm long, with up to 4, small, trumpet-shaped flowers, white or pale pink, with red markings on the lower segments, differing from most of the genus in that all the petals are uniform, spreading open like ixias.  [RHSD, Hortus, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This species of gladiolus appears to be an undescribed one.  It is a very delicate feeble-stemmed plant. […] Communicated by the Hon. and Rev. William Herbert.’  [BM t.2585/1825].  Introduced to cultivation in Britain in the early 19th century.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 cataogues [B.137/1845].  In Macarthur’s possession since at least 1844 as bulbs were sent to Wm. Macarthur Esq. in February of that year.  [MP A2948-3].  It seems likely that the bulbs were obtained from Herbert by Bidwill during his visit to England in 1843/44.  [See Gladiolus cardinalis Curt., B.132].


Published Oct 25, 2009 - 04:25 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 12:08 PM

Figured are narrow leaves and white flower with prominent red basal blotch.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2585, 1825.

Gladiolus debilis Ker-Gawl. | BM t.2585/1825 | BHL

More details about Gladiolus debilis Ker-Gawl.
Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

Common Name

Painted lady, Weak Corn-flag

Name in the Camden Park Record

Gladiolus debilis 

Confidence level high