Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Gladiolus bonaspei Goldblatt & M.P de Vos

Short growing cormous perrenial with short linear leaves and widely flared red flowers in 2- to 7-flowered spikes.  To 50cm.  [CECB].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Although known to both Linnaeus and  Thunberg I have found no depictions of the plant in the early 19th century literature.  It is listed as Gladiolus merianellus in Baker’s Handbook of Iridae (1892).

History at Camden Park

Watsonia merianella was first recorded in an Addendum to the 1843 catalogue and listed in all subsequent editions [B.448/1843].


Watsonia merianella Eckl. (1827) = Gladiolus hirsutus Jacq. which see.  This is a possible identification.

Published Nov 18, 2009 - 04:52 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 12:02 PM

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Antholyza merianella L.
  • Gladiolus merinanellus (L.) Thunb.
  • Homoglossum merianella Baker
  • Watsonia humilis Pers. non Mill.
  • Watsonia pilosa Klatt
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Watsonia merianella 

Confidence level medium