Gladiolus permeabilis edulis
This plant is sometimes considered to be a distinct species, Gladiolus edulis.
Gladiolus edulis Burch.ex Ker Gawl.
Gladiolus remotiflorus Baker
Gladiolus permeabilis edulis is a perennial plant growing about 35cm tall from an underground corm.
The edible corm is sometimes harvested from the wild and consumed locally.
Africa - S. Africa - Cape Province and Namibia.
Shale slopes and stony ground[
]. Mostly in semi-arid areas, usually on sandy soils, in grassland and Acacia woodland[
Prefers a sunny sheltered position in a light sandy neutral to slightly acid soil[
]. Requires a stony gritty loam.
It is said to inhibit the growth of legumes[
Corm - cooked[
]. The roasted bulb tastes like chestnuts[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse at 15°c[
]. It usually germinates freely[
]. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a warm greenhouse[
]. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be grown on in the pot without disturbance for their first year, giving them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. Pot up the small bulbs when they are dormant in the autumn, placing about 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another year or two in the greenhouse and then plant them out in late spring.
Division. Dig up the corms in October, dry them in well ventilated conditions at about 20°c and then store them in a cool but frost-free place over the winter, planting them out about 10cm deep in April[
Cormlets harvested when digging up the corms in the autumn can be stored in a similar manner to the corms[
]. Larger cormlets can be planted out in spring, smaller ones may be best grown on for a year in the greenhouse.
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