August Flower of the Month – Gladiolus

What’s in a Name:  The genus Gladiolus comes from Latin word “gladius” meaning sword, for the plant’s sword-shaped leaves. Some myths say the flower sprang forth where ever there was bloodshed during battles of Roman Gladiators. A more charming story attributes the name to a Prince named Lolus who rescued and fell in love with a maiden named Glad…the twist being that the evil wizard she was destined to marry turned them both into the flowers we know as Gladiolus!

History: Most Gladioli species are native to Africa and all are cousins to Iris. They were first hybridized in the early 1800’s leading to the huge selection of color choices we enjoy in modern gardens and bouquets. Gladioli were also used as medicinal plants in days of yore.
Symbolism: remembrance, calm, integrity, and infatuation.

Did You Know?
•    A gift of Gladiolus is thought to pierce the recipient’s heart with love
•    They also represents sincerity and strength of character
•    Other common names include Glads, Corn Flag & Sword Lilies
•    The flowers open bottom to top along each stem
•    They will stay fresh in a bouquet for up to two weeks
•    Fluoride in the water can cause damage to the blooms