Almost every species from the Gladiolus genus produces flowers in every shade apart from blue. The range of colour is considered one of the reasons they are popular as a cut flower. Most gladioli produce at least two dozen flowers on a single stem. The flowers are often shaped like a trumpet, and size varies from 1 to 8 inches in diameter.
Many species of Gladiolus come from the Cape Province in South Africa, although others originate in the wild of Western and Central Europe. They can also be discovered in other, warmer parts of the world such as the Mediterranean, North Africa, East Africa and even Central Asia.
Like many flowers which have their origins in the Southern Hemisphere, Gladiolus can be mostly found during the spring, summer and autumn. They tend to be at their best during summer, when they have access to plentiful sunlight.
Estimates state that there could be as many as 300 species of gladiolus. The vast majority of known varieties are derivative of the Gladiolus G. hortulanus.
Gladioli make suitable pot plants, and many experienced gardeners feel that the most favourable method of growing them is in a pot. To grow properly, they need abundant sunlight and either a well-drained or sandy loam, but most other types of soil also work well. The best time to plant a Gladiolus seed is usually around March.
Did You Know?
Former Smiths frontman Morrissey regularly swings a bouquet of gladioli around during most of his live performances and in some of his music videos.