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 trichonemifolius Ker-Gawl.

A dwarf species with 3, narrowly linear leaves and a lax flower spike bearing up to 4, fairly large, funnel-shaped, white or dull to bright yellow blooms, often tinged with purple, mauve or red on the outside, and with purple or red lines on the lower lobes, in winter and spring.  [RHSD, CECB].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Our drawing was made from a specimen imported by Messrs. Lee and Kennedy, in whose conservatory at Hammersmith it flowered in May last, most probably for the first time in Europe.  A species not yet recorded in any work known to us; very nearly akin to Gladiolus tristis, both in leaf and bloom.  Scarcely a mere variety of it?’  [BM t.1483/1812].  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.168/1845].  Probably introduced by John Bidwill.  [See Gladiolus cardinalis Curt.].  Bidwill referred to Gladiolus tenellus in a letter to Edward Macarthur Bowman, 26th October, 1844: ‘G. tenellus is a sort of greenish yellow not unlike tristis but not sweet scented’ [MP A4297 p.28], which is very similar to the description given by Ker Gawler.


Published Oct 28, 2009 - 03:07 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 12:04 PM

Shown are the wiry leaves and funnel-shaped yellow flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1483, 1812.

Gladiolus trichonemifolius Ker-Gawl. | BM t.1483/1812 | RBGS

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Gladiolus tenellus Jacq. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Gladiolus tenellus 

Confidence level high