Seed World

Year of the Gladiolus

Source: Jung Seed

Origin: Africa and other arid countries around the Mediterranean

Family: Iridaceae

Scientific Name: Gladiolus

History: While you might see gladiolus blooms across the U.S. in gardens from California to Maine, gladiolus is actually an exotic plant native to more arid regions in Africa and the Mediterranean. Plant breeders didn’t begin working with gladiolus until the late 1800s but had great success once they started. Now, they’re a late-summer tradition and can be found in any county fair or farmer’s market.

Typical Appearance: Has a stiffly upright form and narrow, blade-like leaves. They can vary in height and flower form. 

Colors: Gladiolus come in a range of rainbow colors — including white, yellow, pink, lavender, burgundy, purple and green. 

Basic Variety Types: Grandiflora hybrids, Dwarf Grandiflora hybrids, Gladiolus Nanus hybrids, Gladiolus communis var. byzantiunus, Dalenii hybrids and Gladiolus callianthus. 

Popular Varieties:

  • Costa
  • Fun Time
  • Green Star
  • Lumiere
  • Priscilla
  • Vulcano

Symbolize: Heroism, strength, victory and pride. 

Did You Know?: The term gladiolus comes from the Latin word gladius which means sword. 

Breeders: Gurney’s Seed & Nursery, Brent and Becky’s, Burpee, Park Seed, Jung Seed, Longfield Gardens, Harris Seeds, Pinetree, Breck’s, American Madows, Gardener’s Supply Co

Source: National Garden Bureau