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Cornflag (Gladiolus communis)

Present distribution


Scientific name:

Gladiolus communis L.
Common name(s):

cornflag, Byzantine lilly

Map showing the present distribution of this weed.
Habitat:

“Thrives in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil” (FG.com 2009). Grassy places, fallow (resting land from deliberate cropping) (Polunin 1969). Roadsides, around old settlements (Florabase 2009). “Roadsides, abandoned gardens, disturbed sites (eFloras.org 2009). Grows in corn fields in most of warmer parts of EU (COB.com 2009).


Potential distribution

Potential distribution produced from CLIMATE modelling refined by applying suitable landuse and vegetation type overlays with CMA boundaries

Map Overlays Used

Land Use:
Broadacre cropping; forestry; horticulture perennial; horticulture seasonal; pasture dryland; pasture irrigation; water

Ecological Vegetation Divisions
Coastal; heathland; grassy/heathy dry forest; swampy scrub; freshwater wetland (permanent); treed swampy wetland; lowland forest; foothills forest; forby forest; damp forest; riparian; wet forest; rainforest; high altitude shrubland/woodland; high altitude wetland; alpine treeless; granitic hillslopes; rocky outcrop
shrubland; western plains woodland; basalt grassland; alluvial plains grassland; semi-arid woodland; alluvial plains woodland; ironbark/box; riverine woodland/forest; freshwater wetland (ephemeral); saline wetland; chenopod shrubland; chenopod mallee; hummock-grass mallee; lowan mallee; broombush whipstick

Colours indicate possibility of Gladiolus communis infesting these areas.

In the non-coloured areas the plant is unlikely to establish as the climate, soil or landuse is not presently suitable.
maps
Red= Very highOrange = Medium
Yellow = HighGreen = Likely

Impact

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Social
1. Restrict human access?Grows to about 60 cm high and has two or three linear leaves (8-20 mm wide (Florabase 2009) to 1 m long (Polunin 1969)) at the base (Richardson et al 2006). “Sword like semi stiff leaves” (PLSU 2009). Grassy places, fallow ((Polunin 1969). Roadsides around old settlements (Florabase 2009). Stream sides (Biochange 2009). Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Low nuisance value. Impedes individual access; unable to walk to waterways.
ML
MH
2. Reduce tourism?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Flowers used as ornamentals, but some recreational users may be bothered by restriction of access or the presence of a monoculture of weeds.
M
MH
3. Injurious to people?Listed as having irritant properties (Pammel 1911). Mildly toxic, may cause some physiological issues (eg. Hayfever, minor rashes,).
ML
MH
4. Damage to cultural sites?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Tunicate (eFloras 2009) therefore no strong roots or potential to do much structural damage. Moderate visual effect.
ML
MH
Abiotic
5. Impact flow?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Stream sides (Biochange 2009). Two or three linear leaves (820 mm wide (Florabase 2009) to 1 m long (Polunin 1969)) at the base (Richardson et al 2006). “Sword like semi stiff leaves” (PLSU 2009). Leaves may hang in the water and slow surface water movement. Or in monocultures dead vegetation may hang and/or fall into water slowing flow. Minor impact on surface or subsurface flow.
ML
MH
6. Impact water quality?If dead leaves/ plant material fall into water may block out light reduce flow somewhat etc. Also reported to have irritant properties (Pammel 1911). Noticeable but minor effects in either dissolved O2 OR light levels.
ML
MH
7. Increase soil erosion?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Tunicate (eFloras 2009) therefore no strong roots. Unlikely to prevent soil erosion. Too much watering of bulbs is likely to cause soil erosion . Therefore because G. communis is tunic (bulb) so soil erosion is likely to occur despite their presence.
M
MH
8. Reduce biomass?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). Grows to about 60 cm high and has two or three linear leaves (820 mm wide (Florabase 2009) to 1 m long. Includes corms. Growing in fields and scrub (Phillips & Rix 1981). Could increase biomass in fields, directly replace to reduce biomass in scrub.
M
M
9. Change fire regime?No information on G. communis and fire regime, with flowers and upto three long semi-rigid leaves unlikely to provide much fuel for a fire.
ML
M
Community Habitat
10. Impact on composition
(a) high value EVC
EVC = Ridged Plains Mallee (E); CMA = Mallee; Bioregion = Murray Mallee; VH CLIMATE potential. Some potential to invade native scrubland and outcompete some shrubs, probably disturbance dependant invasion
– Usually found in disturbed places (Polunin 1969; Florabase 2009). - Minor displacement of dominant or indicator species within any one layer
ML
H
(b) medium value EVCEVC = Riverine Grassy Woodland (D); CMA = Goulburn Broken; Bioregion = Victorian Riverina; VH CLIMATE potential. Some potential to invade native scrubland and outcompete some shrubs, probably disturbance dependant invasion – Usually found in disturbed places (Polunin 1969; Florabase 2009). - Very little displacement of any indigenous species, sparse and scattered infestations.
ML
H
(c) low value EVCEVC = Sand Heathland (LC); CMA = Glenelg Hopkins; Bioregion = Victorian Volcanic Plain; VH CLIMATE potential. Some potential to invade native scrubland and outcompete some shrubs, probably disturbance dependant invasion – Usually found in disturbed places (Polunin 1969; Florabase 2009). - Very little displacement of any indigenous species, sparse and scattered infestations.
L
H
11. Impact on structure?“Found on roadsides and around old settlements between Brusselton and Albany (W. Australia) (Hussey et al. 1997). Growing in fields and scrub (Phillips & Rix 1981). Life strategy is described as competitive/ stress tolerators (Biochange 2009). Some potential to invade native scrubland and outcompete some shrubs, probably disturbance dependant invasion – Usually found in disturbed places (Polunin 1969; Florabase 2009). Not enough information.
M
M
12. Effect on threatened flora?Life strategy is described as competitive/ stress tolerators (Biochange 2009). May therefore be able to reduce abundance of some native shrubs/ grasses as it can form monocultures (Schoepke 2009). No information on specific species.
M
M
Fauna
13. Effect on threatened fauna?Life strategy is described as competitive/ stress tolerators (Biochange 2009). May therefore be able to reduce abundance of some native shrubs/ grasses as it can form monocultures (Schoepke 2009). May be Able reduce food/ shelter – especially as listed as having irritant properties (Pammel 1911). Any population of VROT species is reduced. (No information on specific species).
ML
MH
14. Effect on non-threatened fauna?Life strategy is described as competitive/ stress tolerators (Biochange 2009). May therefore be able to reduce abundance of some native shrubs/ grasses as it can form monocultures (Schoepke 2009). May be Able reduce food/ shelter – especially as listed as having irritant properties (Pammel 1911).
M
MH
15. Benefits fauna?Reported as not attracting humming bird, sun bird, or nectar feeding varieties of garden birds or butterflies (PLSU 2009). No information on other types of animals it may benefit/ harm. Not reported to benefit/ attract fauna (PLSU 2009). Provides very little support to desirable species.
H
M
16. Injurious to fauna?Has no spines, burrs, thorns (eFloras 2009). Listed as having irritant properties (Pammel 1911). “The author has seen a market gardener’s horse which recovered from acute colic and diarrhoea, the result of eating the corms of gladioli” (BPP 1968).
M
MH
Pest Animal
17. Food source to pests?Fruit: Dehiscent, a capsule, non fleshy (Florabase 2009). Has irritant/ toxic properties (Pammel 1911; BTWS 2009). Spider mites, thrips and aphids. (FG.com 2009). Supplies food for one or more minor pest species. (eg. Blackbirds or environmental insect pests
ML
MH
18. Provides harbor?Can form large monocultures (Schoepke 2009). 80 cm tall (Richardson et al 2006). Analogous to something like a crop of corn (Schoepke 2009). Also it has no spines, burrs, thorns (eFloras 2009). Therefore quite probably could provide harbour to pests. Eg. Bush rabbits. But has irritant/ toxic properties (Pammel 1911; BTWS 2009). No harbour for pest species.
L
M
Agriculture
19. Impact yield?Grows in corn fields in most of warmer parts of EU……increases so fast by offsets and seeds, as to become troublesome to the cultivator (COB.com 2009). Major impact on quantity of produce (eg. 5-20%).
MH
M
20. Impact quality?Unknown.
M
L
21. Affect land value?Unknown/ unlikely.
ML
L
22. Change land use?Unknown/ unlikely
ML
L
23. Increase harvest costs?Grows in corn fields in most of warmer parts of EU……increases so fast by offsets and seeds, as to become troublesome to the cultivator (COB.com 2009). “Spreads from cormlets when dormant” (FG.com 2009). As it survives and resprouts from corms, and becomes a problem to cultivator, considerable effort would be need to control the weed and this is likely to increase harvest costs. Minor increase in the cost of harvesting. – E.g. Slightly more time and labour is required.
M
MH
24. Disease host/vector?Prone to gladiolus corm rot (Fusarium), grey mould (Botrytis), viruses, aster yellows, spider mites, thrips and aphids. (FG.com 2009). Provides host to minor (or common) pests, or diseases.
ML
MH


Invasive

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Establishment
1. Germination requirements?“Thrives in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil” (FG.com 2009). Corms become rotten in waterlogged situations (GAREU 2009). Needs warm temperatures for successful germination (definitely greater than 5 – 16 -20 recommended) (VDSC 2009). - Requires natural seasonal disturbances such as seasonal rainfall, spring/summer temperatures for germination.
MH
MH
2. Establishment requirements?Grassy places, fallow (resting land from deliberate cropping) (Polunin 1969). Roadsides, around old settlements (Florabase 2009). Requires more specific requirements to establish (e.g. open space or bare ground with access to light and direct rainfall).
ML
MH
3. How much disturbance is required?“Roadsides, abandoned gardens, disturbed sites (eFloras.org 2009). Grows in corn fields in most of warmer parts of EU (COB.com 2009). Establishes in highly disturbed natural ecosystems (eg. roadsides, wildlife corridors, or areas which have a greater impact by humans such as tourist areas or campsites) or in overgrazed pastures/poorly growing or patchy crops.
ML
MH
Growth/Competitive
4. Life form?Cormous, perennial, herb (Florabase 2009). Geophyte, climber or creeper.
ML
MH
5. Allelopathic properties?No reports in literature of it being allelopathic but few studies have been done on this plant and there is not a lot of literature on it. No information.
M
L
6. Tolerates herb pressure?No reports of alleolopathy in literature (pers.obs).
M
L
7. Normal growth rate?“Vigorous perennial” (FG.com 2009). Increases so fast by offsets and seeds, as to become troublesome to the cultivator (COB.com 2009). Moderately rapid growth that will equal competitive species of the same life form.
MH
MH
8. Stress tolerance to frost, drought, w/logg, sal. etc?“Hardy where soil does not freeze over” (FG.com 2009). “Very possibly the hardiest Gladiola” (VDSC 2009). Well drained soil pH 7 (PLSU 2009). Over watering will cause rotting of bulbs and tubers (GAREU 2009) Requires full sun (PLSU 2009). Tolerant to at least two AND susceptible to at least one.
ML
M
Reproduction
9. Reproductive system“Both by offsets and seeds” (COB.com 2009). Both vegetative and sexual reproduction. (Vegetative reproduction may be via cultivation, but not propagation).
H
MH
10. Number of propagules produced?“Spikes with up to 20 flowers” (FG.com 2009). Seed count 50-60 (VDSC 2009). 50-1000.
ML
M
11. Propagule longevity?No information in literature, although it does state that if corms get waterlogged they will rot (GAREU 2009). Therefore corm longevity may not be long/ seed longevity unknown.
M
L
12. Reproductive period?“under good growing conditions will prosper between 1 and 3 years” (PLSU 2009). Less than 3 years reproductive period. Mature plant produces viable propagules for only 1-2 years.
ML
MH
13. Time to reproductive maturity?Flowering period “May to August“ perennial (Florabase 2009). Produces propagules between 1-2 years after germination , or vegetative propagules become separate individuals between 1-2 years.
MH
MH
Dispersal
14. Number of mechanisms?“Spreads from cormlets when dormant” (FG.com 2009). “one of the most marketable cut flowers in all Brazillian States (ISHS 2009). “dehiscent (locules separate from the apex down) (Florabase 2009). No mention of wind, water or animal dispersal in literature (pers. Obs). (But: ‘seeds broadly winged , 4-6 mm diam. – no mention of wind dispersal).
M
M
15. How far do they disperse?No information. Would be spread great distances by the nursery trade (Mygar.com.au 2009). But natural dispersal is unlikely to be up to a kilometre no report of wind, water, animal dispersal in literature (pers. Obs).
M
L


References



BBC (2009) BBC.co.uk Gardening. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/1304.shtml (verified 5/03/2009).

Biochange (2009) Database of Alien plants in Ireland. Available at http://www.biochange.ie/alienplants/result-species.php?species=107&lang=latin&p=o (verified 19/3/2009).

BTWS (2009) B and T world seeds – toxic plants. Available at http://b-and-t-world-seeds.com/al.asp?title=*ToxicPlants&list=131 (verified 23/03/2009).

COB.com (2009) Chest of books.com: 86. Gladiolus communis. Common corn flag. Available at http://chestofbooks.com/flora-plants/flowers/Flower-Garden/86-Gladiolus-Communis-Common-Corn-Flag.html (verified 03/2009).

eFloras (2009) Flora of North America. Available at http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora-id+1&taxon_id=220005610 (verified 6/03/2009).

FG.com (2009). Fine Gardening.com: Plant guide. Available at http://finegardening.com/plantguide/ (verified 2/03 /2009)

Florabase (2009) Florabase: Flora of Western Australia. Available at http://florabase.dec.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/1521 (verified 5/03/2009).

GAREU (2009). Gardening EU. Available at http://gardening.eu/plants/Bulbs/Gladiolus -communis/2458/ (verified 5/03/2009).

Hussey, B. M. J., Keighery, G. J., Cousens, R. D., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S. G. (1997) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. Plant Protection Society of Western Australia.

ISHS (2009) International Symposium on protected Cultivation of Ornamentals in Mild Winter Climates. Available at http://www.actahort.org/books/246/246_45.htm (verified 5/03/2009).

Mygar.com.au (2009). Mygarden.net.au. Gardening, Landscaping, Climate change. Available at http://landscaping.mygarden.net.au/garden-how-to/garden-delights-for-midsummer/ (verified 23/03/2009).

Pammel LH (1911) A Manual of Poisonous Plants. Chiefly of North America, with Brief Notes on Economic and Medicinal Plants, and Numerous Illustrations. Cedar Rapids, IA: Torch Press.

PLSU (2009) Plant supplies.com. Available at http://plantsupplies.com/plants/gladioluscommunis.htm (verified 2/3/2009).

Polunin, O. (1969) Flowers of Europe: A field guide. London. Oxford University press.

Richardson, F., Richardson, R. and Shepherd, R. (2006). ‘Weeds of the South-East; An Identification Guide for Australia’. (R. J. Richardson and F. Richardson, Meredith, Victoria).

Schoepke (2009) Thomas Schoepke Available at http://pharm1.pharmazie.uni-greifswald.de/systematik/7_bilder/coolpix/Ma020558.jpg (verified 3/3/2009)

VDSC (2009) Van Dusen Seed collectors. Gladiolus communis subsp. Byzantinus. Available at http://vandusen.plantexplorers.com (verified 5/03/2009)


Global present distribution data references

Australian National Herbarium (ANH) (2008) Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Plant Diversity and Research, Available at
http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh/ (verified 24/02/2009).

Department of the Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth of Australia). (1993 – On-going) Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) http://www.cpbr.gov.au/apni/index.html (verified 24/02/2009).

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) (2008) Global biodiversity information facility, Available at http://www.gbif.org/ (verified 17/02/2009).

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (2009) Available at http://www.itis.gov/ (verified 24/02/2009).

Missouri Botanical Gardens (MBG) (2009) w3TROPICOS, Missouri Botanical Gardens Database, Available at http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html (viewed 24/02/2009).

United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. Taxonomy Query. (2009) Available at http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxgenform.pl (verified 24/02/2009).


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