Family IridaceaeGladiolus crassifolius occurs widespread from East Africa southward through Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The species has two forms, a more robust and a slender one. The robust form can be sharp pink with dark vertical stripes on the two lower tepals at the base of the flower throat, which is creamy yellow inside. The slender form flowers earlier.
The differences are not sufficient to establish separate species or even variations according to current viewpoint among the decision makers on these matters.Differences in habitat may favour the survival of particular forms, starting off sometimes with only minute variations in the survival challenges presented, to become gradually established as notable distinctions in the process of specification over thousands of years.