Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gladiolus Hybrids

If you're like most people, when you hear the word "Gladiolus" you think of summer-growing bulbs that have a dense spike of colorful flowers, commonly sold in garden centers. Although they're pretty, I'm not a big fan of those plants because they tend to succumb to thrips in my part of California.

But there's a whole other side to the genus: the winter-growing Glads of South Africa. Those plants are generally smaller than the hybrids you're used to, but are very colorful, and have a daintiness that you don't find in the summer-growers. Best of all from my perspective, they are durable, and dead simple to grow in a mediterranean climate.

I've been growing some of the species for years, and have dabbled in hybridizing them. These are my favorite results so far.

MM 00-00a. This was my first Gladiolus hybrid, a cross between a pale blue flower and a tomato red one. I love the mottled markings in the tepals, they're a bit like a watercolor painting.

MM 11-03b.

MM 11-21f.

MM 11-22c.

MM 10-34.

For more info on these and other crosses, see:
New Gladiolus Hybrids, 2015
Gladiolus Hybrids, Pre-2015


Gladiolus Hybrids Pre-2015

This is a list of my early Gladiolus hybrids.

MM 00-00. One of my favorites, it looks a bit like an Alstroemeria painted in watercolors.

MM 10-34. Another favorite, a red flower crossed wit a speckled one. This plant blooms in late fall, at about the same time as the leaves turn in California.

Other hybrids:

MM 02-44. G. carneus X G. tristis

MM 02-46. G. carneus X G. alatus

MM 03-02. A G. tristis hybrid with maroon speckles.

MM 03-03. G. cardinalis X G. tristis

MM 10-18. G. melisculus X G. tristis

MM 11-36. G. tristis X G. carneus

MM 11-112. G. quadrangulus X G. splendens


Gladiolus MM 02-46

Seed parent: Gladiolus carneus
Pollen parent: Gladilus alatus

A very interesting hybrid. The seedlings have the colors of the seed parent, but with the general shape and markings of the pollen parent.


Gladiolus MM 03-02

Seed parent: Gladiolus tristis
Pollen parent: Gladiolus MM 00-00a

MM 03-02a. This was a very interesting result. MM 00-00a is a very nice magenta flower with subtle mottled markings on it. With this cross, I was hoping to get that magenta color on the large flowers of G. tristis. Instead, the magenta color was darkened, and reduced to a series of streaks and speckles. They're not the most spectacular flowers, but are very interesting.


Gladiolus MM 10-18

Seed parent: Gladiolus meliusculus
Pollen parent: G. tristis

MM 10-18a. The seed parent has bright salmony-pink flowers with a strong yellow area on the lower tepals. I wanted to get that color scheme on the tall, upright flower stem of G. tristis. The colors came out pastel, so I'll have to try for an F2 cross.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gladiolus MM 11-112

Seed parent: Gladiolus quadrangulus
Pollen parent: Gladiolus splendens

MM 11-112a



Gladiolus MM 11-97

Seed parent: Gladiolus quadrangulus
Pollen parent: Gladiolus trichomenifolius

One parent has purple lines in the center, while the other has a yellow center. I'd say the two blended pretty well in this cross.

MM 11-97a

Gladiolus MM 11-36

Seed parent: Gladiolus tristis
Pollen parent: Gladiolus carneus

This is the reciprocal cross to MM 02-44. The two crosses look pretty similar.

MM 11-36a


Gladiolus MM 03-03

Seed parent: Gladiolus cardinalis
Pollen parent: Gladiolus tristis

Gladiolus cardinalis is a beautiful red flower with white markings. Unfortunately, I lost the species years ago, but still have this hybrid. I was hoping for a flower that has the color of G. cardinalis but the size of G. tristis. I didn't get it.

MM 03-03a

Gladiolus MM 02-44

Seed parent: Gladiolus carneus
Pollen parent: Gladiolus tristis

This cross has a long history. My records tell me that I made this cross in 2002 and planted some seeds that sprouted and formed bulbs. But the bulbs died when I failed to repot them on time. About a decade later I came across the remaining seeds and planted them. One sprouted, and this is the result.

MM 02-44a