We may not have any Olympic Gold Medalists this time but the flowers of the critically endangered Golden Gladiolus are flying the flag for the resilience of the fynbos of the Far South Peninsula.

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.