Flower of the Month August: the Gladiolus

The Flower of the Month August is one not to be missed, quite literally because the Gladiolus can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. Besides its spectacular length, what else makes this flower so special? Read on to find out.


The Sword Lily or Gladiolus?

The sword-shaped foliage contributed to its Latin name Gladius, which means sword. It’s also known as the Sword Lily or Gladi. Ever since the Roman times, the Gladiolus is a symbol of strength, triumph and pride. Back then they would shower the gladiator that won in gladioli. Nowadays it’s still the ideal flower for rewarding (sports) achievements. But that is not all, Gladioli are also the symbol of infatuation. So if you have a big crush on someone you could give them this flower and send them the message “You pierce my heart”.

orange gladioli

Did you know…

Did you already know the following glorious facts about the Gladiolus?

  • The Gladioli can grow up to the height of a small human being (one and a half meters in length).
  • The flowers usually only grow on one side of the stem and they open from the bottom up.
  • You will find Glads in almost any colour of the rainbow (except blue). From lime green to flame red and from pink to yellow.
  • Another name the Gladiolus goes by is xiphium – derived from the ancient Greek word xiphos which also means sword.
  • Of the approximately 260 different species only 10 are native Europe and Asia. Whereas the rest is native to Africa, mostly South Africa to be precise.
  • You have to be careful when handling Gladiolus, especially around children and pets. If ingested the plant can be poisonous and some species also cause skin irritations.

How to keep your Gladi perky

Their graceful spires and the wide variety of colours make gladioli the perfect choice for large-scale flower arrangements. The gladiolus is also a real eye-catcher in summer bouquets because it determines the height of the bouquet. But what do you need to do to keep your Gladioli fresh?

  • Use a clean vase and clean water
  • Use cut flower food for bulbous flowers.
  • To prevent rotting you should remove any foliage that would end up under the water.
  • Change the water every few days
  • Top out the last 2 buds on the end to encourage more flowers below


Loving our Flower of the Month August as much as we do? Make sure to grab a beautiful Gladioli bouquet at your local florist – quality and freshness guaranteed!

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