Gladiolus, anyone?

John - 6b/7a NJFebruary 8, 2001

Is anyone doing any work with Gladiolus? As I mentioned on another post, some work has been done crossing Gladiolus and Acidanthera; this bigeneric hybrid was called Gladidanthera. The hybrids have the appearance of Gladiolus, but inherit some fragrance from the Acidanthera parent. This perfume is not typical of Acidanthera, however, but suggests Eucalyptus and Dianthus! I had the thought to cross this with Gladiolus tristis, another scented bloom, but without success. Acidanthera is closely related to Gladiolus, and may belong in the same Genus.

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Lowell - 5WA


I don't know if you are a member of a gladiolus society? I belong to North America Gladiolus Council (NAGC) and I know there are many hybidizers in both the local societys and NAGC that are hybidizing glads and though most are probably crossing using hybrids there are some folks that are involved back where it all began for us. I know that if you get into NAGC you will find articles in Gladworld, the quarterly NAGC Publication, from time to time and it surely is would be easy to make contact with folks from that direction. Let me know if I can be of any help to you. I might be able to come up with a few names for you to contact.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2001 at 11:48PM
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John Boggan - Washington, DC

I've always thought it would be fun to breed for better cold hardiness in glads. I'm just getting back into outdoor gardening after several years of apartment and condo living, and this is one group I'm interested in.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2001 at 11:05AM
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Ancidanthera or Peacock Orchids as they r called r native to Ethopia.Their flowers look like orchids but they belong to the Gladiolus family!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2001 at 10:46AM
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keking(z6 TN)

According to some web pages I've visited recently, Acidanthera has been reassigned to the genus Gladiolus. Sigh! Another bigeneric hybrid is lost to taxonomic revisionism.

As for Glad hybrids, a recent report from Japan reveals that temperature can play a role in reproductive isolation. The pollen of Gladiolus tristis grows its tubes fastest at 20C, but fertilization is most effective at 15C -- which is just what we should expect of a plant that is normally pollinated (in the wild) by night-flying moths. At higher temperatures, seeds can form but may need embryo rescue to produce seedlings.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 10:47AM
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keking(z6 TN)

Here's some info on the history of Gladiolus breeding

Karl King

Here is a link that might be useful: Dr. Van Fleet on Gladiolus breeding

    Bookmark   January 9, 2002 at 12:15PM
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Do you know if those "gladanthera" (supposed to be hybrid gladiolus X acidanthera murielae (now Gladiolus callianthus) are somewhere available on the market?
Do you have photos on that specie?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 3:04AM
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frederico(Zone 7, NJ)

I grow them, Laurent. They are original source. They are salmon-pink with burgundy in the throat, and the fragrance is reminiscent of Dianthus and Eucalyptus. Email me if you'd like to trade.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2003 at 10:56PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Frederico, do you propagate a lot of them, as in just by cormels or division? Got a pic?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2003 at 9:35PM
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keking(z6 TN)

If anyone has a picture of a Gladanthera to share I'd love to post it to the International Bulb Society web page.

I grew one variety many years ago -- a second generation plant -- but have long since lost it.

BTW: Hybrids between tender and hardy Glads have been accomplished. Generally the hardier species are high polyploids. It is apparently easier to use a diploid (like G. tristis) or tetraploid as the seed parent with these hardy types.

Karl King
IBS Webmaster

Here is a link that might be useful: International Bulb Society

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 5:16PM
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BrianB(9 N CA)

I'm looking for specie glads. I have several speces and a few old hybrids and am looking for more.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:32PM
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orchidsrule(5b, before global warming)

I've read that the Acidanthera species are triploid. You were right to use G. tristis as another parent.

I've also read that Gladioli have a relative tendency to form unreduced gametes. This mean that there is a chance that your Acidanthera will produce egg cells with 3n, 45 chromosomes (this does not appear to happen in pollen). So by repeatedly crossing G. tristis (a diploid, 2n = 30) as the pollen parent with an Acidanthera you will eventually get tetraploids that will breed nicely with other tetraploids.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gladiolus info

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 7:10PM
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