The gladiolus has a tall stalk of trumpet-shaped blooms that fill the fields and gardens of summer with an array of beautiful, bright colors. Many people admire these striking blooms and florists love to use gladioli or the vertical accent and pop of color they add to arrangements. To discover some interesting facts about this lovely flower, the floral experts at Nanz & Kraft Florists have put together a list of 5 interesting facts about the gladiolus.
Fun Facts About The Official Flower of August – The Gladiolus
- What’s in a Name? – The gladiolus not only has roots in the ground but also in ancient history. Named for their shape and appearance, the term gladiolus stems from the diminutive form of gladius, which means sword in Latin. Translated literally a gladiolus is a little sword. Gladioli have also been called xiphium, which comes from the Greek word, xiphios, which also means sword. In addition to the name gladiolus, the flowers have been referred to as sword or corn lilies.
- Healing Powers – The British and Mediterranean gladiolus plants were often used for medicinal purposes. For example, the English used the plant’s corms (stem base) as a bandage and to extract thorns or splinters. The corms were also powdered and mixed with goat’s milk to soothe symptoms of colic. Parts of the gladiolus, however, are poisonous if eaten, and certain species cause irritation or allergic reaction when handled. Today we primarily use the gladiolus as a decorative flower in gardens and bouquets.
- Choices, Choices – Originally only about seven varieties of gladiolus existed naturally in South Africa. From these seven original species, more than 10,000 cultivars (or cultivated varieties) of the gladiolus exist today. This means gardeners today can pick nearly any variety of the plant imaginable. Gladioli are available in varying heights, sizes, types of blooms, colors of blooms, and patterns of blooms. There is a gladiolus to complement every garden and every bouquet out there.
- More than Words – With a gladiolus, you do not need to include a card expressing your feelings because the plant itself carries and imparts symbolic meaning to the recipient. Gladioli express strength of character, remembrance, faithfulness, and moral integrity. The gladiolus, hence its name, is also meant to pierce the heart of the recipient, conveying infatuation. Additional meaning can be conveyed through color choice, using the standard symbolism of flower color from the Victorian era. Red typically conveys passion, white expresses purity, and yellow often means friendship.
- They’re Not Bulbs – Although the gladiolus is a perennial flower, which can be dug up and stored through winter in cold climates, the flower does not have a true bulb as other perennials do. The gladiolus bulb is called a corm.
This all-white arrangement makes a true statement, combining White Gladioli, White Hydrangea, Larkspur, Lilies, and other white flowers.
When you’re in the mood for an arrangement of colorful, summery gladioli to brighten your home and your spirits, contact Nanz & Kraft Florist or visit them in person. Also, check out our online catalog of the season’s freshest and best, high-quality blooms for all of your floral needs throughout the year.