New fruiting collections made since the publication of an account of Iridaceae for Flora Zambesiaca in 1993 show that spring-flowering plants until now referred to Gladiolus crassifolius Baker are better treated as a separate species, the earliest name for which is G. mosambicensis Baker. It is distinguished by the slightly smaller flowers, dry, obtuse floral bracts, and round, broadly winged seeds; G. crassifolius has green, acute bracts and wedge- to pear-shaped seeds with the wing fully developed at one or both ends but not on the sides. In addition, plants from northern Zimbabwe provisionally referred to G. permeabilis subsp. edulis (Burchell ex Ker Gawler) Obermeyer in the Flora Zambesiaca account of the genus do not belong in this species and are here described as G. metallicola Goldblatt. This plant, a member of section Hebea (Persoon) Bentham & Hooker f., remains known from one collection from the Great Dyke in Lomagundi District. Gladiolus L., the largest genus of the Iridaceae in the flora, now has 39 species in the Flora Zambesiaca region alone, and a total of 254 species worldwide.
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Vol. 18 • No. 2