When one mentions Gladiolus, tall, rigid plants in a stunning array of colors come to mind. While they may be good cut flowers, they are quite garish, need a lot of attention such as staking, feeding, and watering. While I do have some hybrids in the cut flower garden, they are not plants that I would place in most garden areas. However, there are a growing number of the species that I getting more interested in, inspired by Gladiolus tristis ‘Moonlight’. For fall 2020, I have obtained a number of corms from other species. In addition, I will be trying several from seed.
There are about 250 species of Glads that originate mainly from Europe and South Africa. Some of these have gone through selection and restrained hybridization. They have a more relaxed form and, in my opinion, are more interesting plants. Also, there are some, especially those from South Africa, that suit our climate well. These are the spring flowering species that go dormant over summer. They grow when moisture is abundant in Autumn and Winter, being ready to bloom in Spring.
Name Derivation: - The name Gladiolus comes from Latin and means small sword. This is because of the shape of the leaves and thus Glads are sometimes called sword-lilies.
Common Name: Glads
Gladiolus is in the family Iridaceae.