The gladiolus is the birth flower for the month of August. It also happens to be a seasonal flower. Gladioli that are planted in the spring are fully mature by August, so they are more likely to be available. Home gardeners will enjoy their spectacularly colorful show during the month of August.
Gladioli belong to the genus Gladiolus. There are 260 gladiolus species in the gladiolus genus. Most species are native to Africa. Two hundred and fifty species are native to places in Africa that lie south of the Sahara Desert. Of those 250 species, 160 are endemic to Southern Africa. Seventy-six species are native to places in tropical Africa.
The species of Gladioli that are native to Africa are different from the species that are grown for the commercial floral industry and the corms that are grown for sale at nurseries and garden centers. For centuries, botanists have tinkered with the genetic makeup of the African species. The result of their efforts produced hybrids that are more suitable for growth in colder climates.
No perennial garden would be complete without the addition of gladioli. They are considered semi-hardy in temperate climates. Gladioli grow from corms that are covered with a brown paper-like fibrous tissue. The Farmer’s Almanac suggests that glads can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10. In zone 6, however, they must be removed from the ground before the first hard freeze.
The Meaning and Significance of Gladioli
The common name for the gladiolus is “sword lily.” It gets that name from the sword-like shape of the leaves. The gladiolus was also the flower of Roman Gladiators, so perhaps that’s part of the origin of the flower’s name.
According to the language of flowers, when you give a man or woman, the gift of one or more gladiolus stems, you intend to pierce his or her heart with your love.
Gladioli can also be a sign of love at first sight.
Gladioli have been revered as a cut flower favorite for ages. It’s easy to see why they are so popular. A single stem produces many large flowers. A vase full of gladioli always makes a dramatic statement. They add color to a room in a unique way.
You can always count on Conklyn’s to help you find the perfect flower for any occasion.