Gladiolus Maculatus or The Brown Afrikaner – 21 May 2013

Today’s blog is devoted to a single flower.  Trotting wearily up the hill this morning, not expecting or needing to see anything new. We still have unposted species from Sunday’s collection, so I was not desperate for revelations of glory.  Looking into the lands I suddenly saw this single, ultra elegant stem with a graceful flower greeting the morning.  This is a gladiolus.

We have quite a few of different sub-species on the farm, of the 105+ that are found in the fynbos region.  Most flower in spring so I’m going to be brave and identify this one as Gladiolus Maculatus or The Brown Afrikaner.

The Brown Afrikaner flowers precisely at this time of year and the only problem is it likes mainly clay slopes in renosterveld.  Most of our fynbos likes granite and sandstone slopes for that is our main habitat.  Still, looks just like the photo, has a delicious, spicy fragrance and flowers at the right time of year.  And who can resist the name?  There are also Large Brown Afrikaners and Small Brown Afrikaners, the latter flower in the spring and we definitely have them here on the farm.  

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