Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

February 16, 2016: Botany Photo of the Day will return this spring with a new format similar to the new UBC Botanical Garden web site. In the meantime, please enjoy the restored content!

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio

Butterfly gladiolus or goldblotch gladiolus is one of the approximately one hundred and sixty species of gladiolus endemic to South Africa. Unlike the genus Watsonia (featured on BPotD a couple days ago), the genus Gladiolus extends beyond the borders of South Africa; it can be found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Eurasia, though its centre of diversity remains in South Africa.

Within the globally widespread family Iridaceae, Gladiolus belongs to the Old World subfamily Crocoideae, along with Watsonia, Crocosmia, Dierama, Crocus and Babiana. Iridaceous plants not belonging to the Crocoideae featured on BPotD to-date include Cypella, Iris, Olsynium, Sisyrinchium and Diplarrena, all belonging to the subfamily Iridoideae.

The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group goes into taxonomic detail on the Iridaceae and its subfamilies.

Paghat writes about Gladiolus papilio from a horticultural perspective.


Considering that this species is often described as "butt ugly" (quoting Tony Avent), Daniel gets extra credit for his lovely photograph.

What a great photo. I really like learning about where the plants come from.
Thanks so much for photo of the day.

Gladiolus papilio - Z8 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

Gladiolus, glad-e-o-lus; from Latin gladiolus, a little sword, the shape of the leaf. Some authorities give two pronunciations, glad-i-o-lus and glad-e-o-lus, the former being correct, but unlikely ever to be generally used. Plant Names Simplified, Johnson and Smith.

i wish you would write the common name as well as the scientific name, it would help a lot more when i was trying to describe this species to a fellow classmate! thank you

meg – see the first sentence of the accompanying written entry.

Once again I have lost you. Please continue sending me the lovelies daily. Thank you

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