Gladiolus murielae
Gladiolus callianthus (1345579492).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Gladiolus
G. murielae
Binomial name
Gladiolus murielae
  • Acidanthera murielae (Kelway) Hoog, Gard.
  • Acidanthera bicolor Hochst.
  • Ixia quartiniana A.Rich.
  • Sphaerospora gigantea Klatt
  • Gladiolus callianthus Marais

Gladiolus murielae is a species of flowering plant in the family Iridaceae, native to eastern Africa, from Ethiopia to Malawi.[2] It has been given a number of English names, including Abyssinian gladiolus and fragrant gladiolus.[3] It was formerly placed in the genus Acidanthera.[1]

It is a cormous perennial growing to 70–100 cm (28–39 in) tall, with linear leaves and in late summer, numerous fragrant white flowers with a maroon (occasionally orange) blotch in the throat, on slender nodding stems. Widely cultivated, it is a common subject in western and southern European gardens, where the corms are lifted every year and stored in frost-free conditions.[4]

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5][6]

Hardiness: Zones 7–10 (6b with deep planting and mulching)


The species was first described as Acidanthera bicolor by Christian Hochstetter in 1844. In 1973, Wessel Marais included the genus Acidanthera in Gladiolus. As the name Gladiolus bicolor had already been published by John Gilbert Baker in 1877 for a different species of Gladiolus, Marais needed another name. He chose to call the species Gladiolus callianthus. Marais was apparently unaware that James Kelway had already published the name Gladiolus murielae in 1932, so that the name "G. callianthus" was superfluous. The epithet murielae honours Muriel Erskine; her husband had collected in Ethiopia the specimen on which Kelway based the name.[2]

The species is often still offered for sale under the name Acidanthera bicolor, sometimes with murielae added as an infraspecific name,[2] or even as the cultivar name 'Murielae'.[3]


  1. ^ a b c "Gladiolus murielae", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-09-05
  2. ^ a b c La Croix, Isobyl (2012), "A selection of tropical Gladiolus", The Plantsman, New Series, 11 (3): 184–187
  3. ^ a b Evans, Erv, Acidanthera bicolor, Gladiolus callianthus; Abyssinian, Fragrant gladiolus, Sword lily, NC State University, archived from the original on 2007-09-04, retrieved 2007-06-29
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  5. ^ "Gladiolus murielae AGM". RHS Plant Finder. Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 43. Retrieved 3 March 2018.