Scientific Name
Gladiolus merianellus (L.) Thunb.
Higher Classification
Gladiolus bonaspei Goldblatt & M.P.de Vos, Homoglossum merianellum (Thunb.) Baker, Homoglossum merianellum (Thunb.) Baker var. aureum G.J.Lewis, Petamenes pilosus (Klatt) Goldblatt
Common Names
Vlamme (a)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Least Concern
Assessment Date
A.G. Rebelo, L. von Staden, H. Mtshali & N.A. Helme
A southern Cape Peninsula endemic that has a restricted distribution range, with an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 210 km and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 112 km. This species was listed as Near Threatened in 2006 due to its restricted range and the fact that its habitat used to be invaded by invasive alien plants. Consistent efforts to clear invasive plants have led to widespread habitat restoration, and this species' population is stable across its range. It is therefore downlisted to Least Concern.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Western Cape
This species is endemic to the southern Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
It grows in seasonally damp, peaty sand, both on flats near the coast and at higher elevations. It flowers well after fire.
Much of this species' range was previously severely invaded by alien plants; this includes the Cape Point area, Miller's Point, Klawer Vlei (naval property), the area along the road from Scarborough to Klaasjagers, and some parts of the Silvermine Reserve. Over the past three decades, these aliens have been repeatedly cleared, first by the Working for Water programme and then by South African National Parks (SANPARKS). These efforts have allowed the fynbos to recover.

This species has had 99 observations posted by citizen scientists on the iNaturalist platform between 2013 and 2023 from across its known range. From these observations, we infer that the population is locally common, stable, and not declining.

Population trend
This species is conserved in the Cape Point Nature Reserve and the Silvermine Nature Reserve.
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Gladiolus merianellus (L.) Thunb.NT D22014.1
Gladiolus bonaspei Goldblatt & M.P.de VosNT D2Raimondo et al. (2009)
Gladiolus bonaspei Goldblatt & M.P.de VosRare Hilton-Taylor (1996)
Homoglossum merianellum (Thunb.) Baker var. aureum G.J.LewisIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)
Homoglossum merianellum (Thunb.) Baker var. merianellumIndeterminate Hall et al. (1980)

Goldblatt, P. and Manning, J.C. 2000. Cape Plants: A conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. Strelitzia 9. National Botanical Institute, Cape Town.

Hall, A.V., De Winter, M., De Winter, B. and Van Oosterhout, S.A.M. 1980. Threatened plants of southern Africa. South African National Scienctific Programmes Report 45. CSIR, Pretoria.

Helme, N.A. and Trinder-Smith, T.H. 2006. The endemic flora of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 72(2):205-210.

Hilton-Taylor, C. 1996. Red data list of southern African plants. Strelitzia 4. South African National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

Manning, J.C. and Goldblatt, P. 2012. Plants of the Greater Cape Floristic Region 1: The Core Cape Flora. Strelitzia 29. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

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.

Rebelo, A.G., von Staden, L., Mtshali, H. & Helme, N.A. 2023. Gladiolus merianellus (L.) Thunb. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version . Accessed on 2024/04/14

Comment on this assessment Comment on this assessment
Distribution map

© C. Paterson-Jones

© C. Merry

© C. Merry

Search for images of Gladiolus merianellus on iNaturalist