Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). Sometimes called the sword lily, the most widely used English common name for these plants is simply gladiolus (plural gladioli, gladioluses or sometimes gladiolas). The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The centre of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered. These attractive, perennial herbs are semi hardy in temperate climates. They grow from rounded, symmetrical corms, that are enveloped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics. These flowers are variously colored, pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings, or white to cream or orange to red.
Growing 30cm to 60cm with brownish, purplish or reddish speckled flowers in autumn to winter.
USDA Zone - 8
Season to Sow - Autumn
Photos with credit to the late Rod and Rachel Saunders, eminent experts on South African indigenous flora.
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