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Gladiolus -1.jpg
Scientific Classification
  • G. ×colvillei
  • G. communis (cornflag)
  • G. ×gandavensis
  • G. italicus (Italian gladiolus)
  • G. lemoinei
  • G. murielae
  • G. papilio (goldblotch gladiolus)
  • G. primulinus
  • G. tristis (ever-flowering gladiolus)
  • G. ukambanensis
Gladiolus -2.jpg
University of Leicester Botanic Garden

The Gladiolus is a flowering plant known as the "sword flower". Its name came from the Latin word “gladius” which means sword and given the name due to the fact that its leaves and petals are tall, pointed, and long, like a sword. The Gladiolus flower is a symbol of moral integrity and power, when giving a bouquet of this flower it symbolizes to the receiver that they have pierced the giver's heart with such passion[1]. There are 250 species of Gladiolus known, but there will soon be more with the future breeding of the flower. 250 of the 260 types of Gladiolus are native to sub-Saharan Africa; the other 10 are native to Eurasia[2].


There are four different types of flowering gladiola:

Large flowering: Is the most known and common, group. It is well known for its hundreds of varieties and comes in many different colors.

Butterfly Types: They are the Gladiolus flowers shaped as butterflies, these flowers come in bright and exotic colors and are are smaller than the "large flowering" types.

Primulinus glads: This group has all of the yellow flowering species. The upper leaf of the flower is the biggest of all the leaves on the plant and covers them. The pistil and stamen of the flower act as a little shield to the other parts to the flower; which makes it a struggle to see the inside of the flower and all of its unique parts.

Small Flowering Glads: This group contains many of the smaller flowering plants, which come in vibrant colors. The most common types of plants from this specific category are: the Gladiolus tubergenii, the Gladiolus colvillei, and the Gladiolus nanus[3].


Sword-shaped leaf of the Gladiolus

Gladiolus grow from bulb-like structures called "corms", they serve the same purpose as a seed or bulb do. A corm is a structure with no actual layers[4]. Corms tend to be smaller than 3/4ths in diameter, those sized corms do not usually produce a flower. But the corms that are 1 and 1/4th in diameter are found to be the normal size for flowering. If you want to insure that the corm you plant will grow flowers it is recommended that you plant full and thick corms. Corms are round and fat, they take the shape of a squished chocolate kiss. When planting corms they need to be planted six to eight inches apart from each other, also, they need to be inserted five inches into the ground. They are planted with the pointed side up[5].


The Gladiolus flower is able to grow in a variety of places, but grow best though in warm climate areas. The soil in which they can be planted can range to many different types, it grows very well in soil that contains humus, leaves, straw, manure and hay[6]. Gladiolus's grow very well in spots with lots of sunlight. This type of flower does not produce and perform to its maximum potential if it spends most of its growing career in the shade. They need proper drainage and a good amount of water to function[7]. The usual growing time for Gladiolus plants is from July until winter [8].