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 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

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