Gladiolus watermeyeri

Lindsay Bourque wrote today’s entry:

Thank you to Claire Woods aka buildingadesert@Flickr for submitting today’s photo, very much appreciated (original image | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool)!

Gladiolus contains about 260 species with about 250 native to sub-Saharan Africa. The species featured today is endemic to the northwestern Cape region of South Africa, where it can be found growing on rocky sandstone slopes near Nieuwoudtville or on top of the Gifberg. Gladiolus can be commonly known in English as sword lily, but it is more often referred to simply as gladiolus. The common name sword lily is an acknowledgement of the Latin gladius (a sword) — and a diminutive sword was therefore a gladiolus. Consequently, the gladiolus has become a symbol for “strength of character” by its close relationship to “gladiator”. Gladiolus watermeyeri is described as one of the most fragrant species of the genus (in South Africa, it is known as “sweet kalkoentjie“).

Gladiolus watermeyeri

8 responses to “Gladiolus watermeyeri”

  1. Christiaan

    One has to wonder why they would call it a “sweet turkey”?
    Lovely photo.

  2. Brian

    The Afrikaans language is very rich in all manner of weird and wonderful regional colloquialisms, often of obscure origin. Perhaps the flower looked a bit like a turkey to someone. Or perhaps it was just a whimsical phrase that stuck. 😉

  3. Elizabeth Revell

    THAT is a gladiolus??? Wow! Dame Edna would be amazed … Dame Edna Everage, World famous in Oz, NZ and UK aka Barry Humphries to those not aware of her penchant for “gladdies” …
    Thanks for a stunning image.

  4. Betty(VA)

    Lovely flower, super pic!

  5. lisa

    I can see how it might look like a turkey with its wings spread: the striped, horizontal petals are its wings, and the dark gold, white-tipped falls are its tail feathers – I don’t know about the head though.
    An interesting gladiolus. Very striking photograph.
    Thank you

  6. Vic Stapel

    I will ask one more time.
    Can anyone tell me
    how does one go about to submit photos to the pool ?
    Thank you.

  7. Robin Winburn

    Love this! The flower and photo are gorgeous and I’m so excited to learn the connection between gladiator, sword/gladius, and the gladiolus family. Thank you!

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    lovely photo just lovely the rain drops
    glisten like fine diamonds thank you
    the write up is fine as are the links
    thank you for my end of the evening nightcap

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