The Golden Gladiolus or Gladiolus aureus is a Southern Peninsula endemic but sadly is almost extinct in the wild. As a result of ongoing habitat destruction and vigorous picking of its showy golden yellow flowers in the past only a few plants are known in the wild. And only a few people know where these wild refuges are.
Like all gladiolus, the plant grows from a small corm (bulb). Its soft narrow strap-like leaves and the flower stem are about 400-600 mm tall. The delicate flower stem produces three to seven pale to bright golden yellow blooms.
Thank-you to Wally Petersen, well known local environmental activist and conservationist, who sent us the photos of a clump of flowering Golden Gladiolus. We would love to hear accounts or receive photos from readers about past sightings of Golden Gladiolus – or indeed of any of our rare and special fynbos flowers.