The buds of Tritonia gladiolaris are more darkly lined upon the still closed outside surfaces of their tepals than inside the open flowers. The spiral arrangement of the flower spike is shown in the photo. Many colours can be discerned upon the exterior of the buds, partly covered by firm papery bracts that are toothed at their tips.
This plant has responded to horticultural export by becoming naturalised in big parts of Australia, New Zealand and the Norfolk Islands. Its introduction there is being regretted while most South Africans have never seen the flower (Pooley, 1998; Manning, 2009; www.pacificbulbsociety.org; http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org).