Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). Sometimes called the sword lily, the most widely-used English common name for these plants is simply gladiolus (plural gladioli or gladioluses). The genus Gladiolus contains about 260 species, of which 250 are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. About 10 species are native to Eurasia. There are 160 species of Gladiolus endemic in southern Africa and 76 in tropical Africa.
The fragrant flower spikes are large and one-sided. They make very good cut flowers.
Gladiolus uysiae is brownish purple with dark veining and fragrant. It flowers late winter to early spring and can be found on clay slopes in Renosterveld.