Scientific Name
Gladiolus parvulus Schltr.
Higher Classification
Geissorhiza gracilis Baker, Gladiolus subaphyllus N.E.Br.
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
L. von Staden
Gladiolus parvulus has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 13 229 km², and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 88-120 km². It is declining across most of its range due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, but is still relatively common, persisting at more than 10 locations. It therefore nearly meets the criteria thresholds for Vulnerable under criterion B.
Not endemic to South Africa
Provincial distribution
This species occurs in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg and Midlands, extending to Ngele Mountain near the border with the Eastern Cape. It also occurs in Lesotho.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, Drakensberg Foothill Moist Grassland, Mooi River Highland Grassland, Southern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, uKhahlamba Basalt Grassland, Drakensberg-Amathole Afromontane Fynbos, Southern Drakensberg Highland Grassland, Northern KwaZulu-Natal Moist Grassland, East Griqualand Grassland, Northern Drakensberg Highland Grassland
It occurs in thin soil on sandstone pavements or in sandstone outcrops in montane and mistbelt grassland.
More than 30% of this species' habitat is already irreversibly modified, predominantly due to historical loss to timber plantations. Comparative land cover datasets (1990-2014) indicates that loss continues rapidly, particularly in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where it is threatened mainly by urban expansion and development of housing estates. Subpopulations persisting on small, isolated grassland fragments are threatened by ongoing habitat degradation due to inappropriate fire management, competition from alien invasive plants, and overgrazing by livestock.

Many recent observations indicate that this species is still common, and subpopulations are large. A continuing decline is inferred from ongoing habitat loss and degradation.

Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Gladiolus parvulus Schltr.Least Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 1998. Gladiolus in southern Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg.

Pooley, E. 2003. Mountain flowers: a field guide to the flora of the Drakensberg and Lesotho. Natal Flora Publications Trust, Durban.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

von Staden, L. 2020. Gladiolus parvulus Schltr. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/17

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Distribution map

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