Scientific Name
Gladiolus paludosus Baker
Higher Classification
Gladiolus crassifolius in sense of G.J.Lewis et al. (in part), not of Baker (misapplied name)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
Assessment Date
L. von Staden & M. Lötter
A widespread (EOO <19 940 km²), but rare (AOO <2000 km²) habitat specialist, estimated to remain at between six and ten locations and declining due to severe ongoing habitat loss and degradation.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga
Witbank to Lydenburg, and southwards to Piet Retief and Wakkerstroom.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Long Tom Pass Montane Grassland, Steenkampsberg Montane Grassland, KaNgwane Montane Grassland, Wakkerstroom Montane Grassland, Eastern Highveld Grassland
Wetlands or marshes in high altitude grassland that remain wet throughout the year or dry out for only a short period.
This species' habitat is becoming increasingly rare due to ongoing loss and degradation. The main threat is damming of streams feeding into wetlands as well as wetland drainage for agriculture. This species requires year-round moist conditions to flourish, but damming and drainage reduce water flow to wetlands causing prolonged dry conditions. Timber plantations, common across this species' range, also has a negative impact on the water table, with timber trees typically being more 'thirsty' than natural vegetation. Urban expansion, crop cultivation, invasive alien plants and overgrazing have also caused the loss and degradation of much of this species' habitat across Mpumalanga. Coal mining is rapidly expanding within this species' range, and is likely to have a severe impact on surviving populations in future.

A widespread, but relatively rare habitat specialist. It is known from only a few collections, and recent surveys of historical localities across Mpumalanga failed to record surviving plants, even after repeated visits. Due to widespread habitat loss and degradation, it is likely that only a few subpopulations remain, and decline is ongoing.

Population trend
This species flowers early in the season, usually after the first rains in October, and before the surrounding grass has grown to its full height (Goldblatt & Manning 1998).
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Gladiolus paludosus BakerVU B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)2014.1
Gladiolus paludosus BakerLeast Concern 2013.1
Gladiolus paludosus BakerLeast Concern Raimondo et al. (2009)

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

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. & Lötter, M. 2013. Gladiolus paludosus Baker. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/14

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Distribution map

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