Beloved for centuries, Gladioli are named after Roman Gladiators, the famed warriors who fought with swords. It isn’t surprising, then, that Gladiolus would also be known as “Sword Lily.” There are roughly 260 species that belong to the Gladiolus genus.
Of those, all but ten are native to places in Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining ten species come from warm areas throughout Eurasia – namely, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The entire genus belongs to the Iris family. Gladiolus is one of the most popular summer-blooming cut flowers, either through flower shops, or home cutting gardens.
If you don’t have any gladioli in your garden to enjoy, don’t despair. Griffins Floral Designs has two beautiful summer bouquets that will bring the festive colors of gladioli into your home. Allow the “Summer Glads” bouquet make a statement on an entry or console table in your house. Show your love for someone by piercing their heart with a “Sword Lily,” in this “Endless Love” bouquet.
Types of Gladioli
Gladioli are available in named species and hybrid varieties. Species are generally recognized according to geographical origin and ecology range. Because the combinations of different species resulted in so many hybrids, the need arose to create different categories for types of hybrids.
The Four Types are:
- Species and hybrids that bloom in late winter
- Butterfly or Nanus hybrids
- Species that bloom in summer
- Modern hybrids that bloom in summer
Gladioli for Ohio Gardens
If you’re looking for Glads that are hardy enough to withstand cold winters, you want the Butterfly or Nanus hybrids that are often available at garden centers, and are widely available through catalog order companies. Butterfly and Nanus varieties are hardiest for colder climates. Dwarf Nanus gladioli are planted in fall, and bloom in spring.
They only grow to a height of about two feet. They typically have fewer than 12 flowers on a stem. Plant in well-drained soil that is amended with organic matter, at a depth of 4 inches. Plant corms six inches apart. Cover the bed with a thick layer of straw to protect them over the winter.
Butterfly glads are unique looking in that their ruffled petals overlap, and since part of the flowers trail, they give the illusion of butterflies that are flying. These varieties often have different colored blotches around the flower throat, giving them a spectacular look as cut flowers, and they are often used in this way.
Although other varieties of glads aren’t hardy enough to survive Midwestern winters in the ground, you can still grow them if you plant them in spring and dig them up in fall, before the first frost. Few flowers are as spectacularly showy as gladioli because there are multiple blooms on a single stem. Be sure to brighten your August with gladioli. The site of these colorful, tall, stately and majestic flowers is sure to make you smile every time you see them.