Gladiolus - Gladiolus hybrida
The name gladiolus comes from the Latin for ‘sword’ and relates to their sword-shaped leaves. Other common names for them are ‘gladdies’, sword lily and spear lily. They are a member of the iris family and originated in South Africa. They are inexpensive and becoming more and more popular in the UK
Gladiolus are tall, dramatic flowers that grow up to 3ft high and are covered with funnel shaped blossoms on one side of the stem. The flowers open from the bottom upwards and have long sword like leaves. They have no scent but are highly coloured – they come in whites, pinks, reds, purples, oranges, yellows and soft pastels, and are one of the few green flowers too.
In the language of flowers, gladiolus mean ‘I’m sincere’ or ‘Generosity’. They are also known to symbolise strength of character and moral integrity.
Did you know...
Dame Edna Everage throws ‘gladdies’ into the audience at the end of every performance.
Mashed gladiolus roots were used in medicine for drawing out thorns and splinters. Dried gladiolus seed pods were ground to powder and swallowed with goat’s milk as a remedy from colic. Modern medicine has proven both these remedies to be ineffective.
The Gladiolus is the birth flower of August.
Symbolic flower for a 40th wedding anniversary.