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 caryophyllaceus (Burm.f.) Poir. var. roseus

A cormous perennial with sword-shaped leaves and widely-funnel-shaped deep pink to mauve flowers and it is possible that Gladiolus roseus of the catalogues is a pink-flowered form.  To 110cm.  [CECB]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

No additional data.

History at Camden Park

Gladiolus roseus is recorded as received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831 [MP A2948-2] and is listed in all published catalogues [B.157/1843].  Bulbs or seeds were presented to the Sydney Botanic Gardens by Messrs. Macarthur in the same year.  [RBGS AB1].  It is an interesting plant in the history of Camden Park because it was used several times by Bidwill and Macarthur in gladiolus crosses.  Three such crosses were later listed in catalogues but none were named.


Gladiolus roseus Jacq. is a synonym for Tritonia capensis Ker-Gawl., synonym Tritonia rosea Klatt. BM This is a species with white flowers, streaked with rose: ‘This very rare plant was introduced amongst us from the Cape, by the way of Holland, by Messrs. Colville’s, Nurserymen, King’s-Road, Chelsea, and is still very scarce.’  [BM t.618/1802].  It was figured in Andrews’ Botanical Repository as Gladiolus roseus Jacq., with the description ‘spear-shaped leaves, twisted, red-edged, and downy; blossoms rose colour, and sweet-scented.’  [ABR pl.10/1798].  According to Andrews’ it was introduced in 1795 and first flowered in the garden of J. Ord of Fulham.  Tritonia disticha subsp. rubroluscens, synonyms T. rosea, T. rubroluscens, which has also been known as Gladiolus roseus in the nursery trade, bears a succession of one-sided spikes of open funnel-shaped, pink flowers.  [RHSE].  This is an unlikely identification as Bidwill and Macarthur used Gladiolus roseus on a number of occasions as a parent of Gladiolus hybrids.

Another possibility is Gladiolus x nanus Hort. var. roseus.  But as the nanus hybrids were reportedly not developed until the mid-1830s and Macarthur received Gladiolus roseus in 1831 this seems unlikely.  See Gladiolus x nanus Hort. for a description and history.

Gladiolus roseus Andr. (c.1800) = Gladiolus hirsutus Jacq. which see.

Published Oct 26, 2009 - 04:55 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 12:06 PM

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gladiolus roseus  

Confidence level low