A rare and highly protected species in the wild, this has, fortunately, taken well to cultivation. In South Africa it goes by the name of ‘Suicide Gladiolus’ in allusion to its natural habitat in inaccessible crevices in vertical cliffs, trying to get to them is tantamount to killing yourself! It hangs from basalt cliffs which run with water at some times of the year.
This species has stunning, vivid red flowers with long tubes and has adapted itself for pollination by the Malachite Sunbird which migrates to higher areas, when the plant is in flower, to probe for its nectar. In cultivation it needs only a well drained, humus rich soil to perform well. Increase is by seed and offsets, and of course there are those fabulous flowers, arguably the best in the genus. Certainly if you only grow one hardy Gladiolus this has to be the one.