Gladiolus

<font color="#809080">Gladiolus</font>


This is our inactive listing for this genus.

The category is for plants which we normally offer but which are not currently available for ordering.

They are showing 'out of stock' either because they are sold out at the moment or because they are seasonal and currently unsafe to send.

These species are however a normal part of our range and we would hope to have them available, and included in the active list again, in the next correct season.

Please check on the left hand side of the screen, we may also have an active list (of other, different species) for this genus.



Ordering of different species from Autumn and Spring lists.

Gladiolus atroviolaceus

This has distinctly violet flowers and not the usual pink-purple of the genus. These are marked with deep violet stripes on the lip around a paler throat. There are several flowers, laxly held on an upright stem that can be from as little as 20cm up to 50cm tall.

Spread from Greece to Iran. Remarkably hardy and readily grown in well-drained, loam soil in sun, or a pot.

Gladiolus atroviolaceusglaatratr £8.50

Gladiolus carmineus

Gladiolus carmineus

This species is unique in its autumnal blooming, it flowers in September in the UK, before the leaves come into growth. It normally has grey-green foliage and flower stems, the latter carrying 4-5 large flowers of rich pink to near-carmine, marked on the lower petals with white and darker shades. This is however a variable species (our stock is the one illustrated here).

Hardy in the UK with good drainage and sun being its ideal combination, it does not need lifting for winter. It is native to South Africa growing there on sandstone cliffs.

Gladiolus carmineusglacarcar £5.00

Gladiolus communis byzantinus

Gladiolus communis byzantinus

A readily grown species from the Mediterranean region with slender spikes of pink, bright carmine or magenta flowers. These can be marked with paler and darker lines in some plants.

A deep fertile soil is best with the plants left undisturbed, to encourage flowering rather than increase.

Horticultural stock originally from plants raised in a wet area of Scotland rather than the more widely grown Dutch horticultural forms. We hope that in some way this may make them more amenable to the British climate.

Photo Meneerke Bloem at Wikimedia, with thanks.

Gladiolus communis byzantinusglacombyz £1.40

Gladiolus cunonius

A very bright red, spring flowering species with long tubular flowers each of which has an elongated upper petal.

A native of sandy soils in the Cape province of South Africa.

Readily grown and very attractive for the intensity of the colouring in its flowers and its tidy, narrow foliage.

Picture Andrew Massyn, Wikimedia, with thanks

Gladiolus cunoniusglacuncun £5.50

Gladiolus flanagannii

Gladiolus flanagannii

A rare and highly protected species in the wild, this has, fortunately, taken well to cultivation. In South Africa it goes by the name of ‘Suicide Gladiolus’ in allusion to its natural habitat in inaccessible crevices in vertical cliffs, trying to get to them is tantamount to killing yourself! It hangs from basalt cliffs which run with water at some times of the year.

This species has stunning, vivid red flowers with long tubes and has adapted itself for pollination by the Malachite Sunbird which migrates to higher areas, when the plant is in flower, to probe for its nectar. In cultivation it needs only a well drained, humus rich soil to perform well. Increase is by seed and offsets, and of course there are those fabulous flowers, arguably the best in the genus. Certainly if you only grow one hardy Gladiolus this has to be the one.

Gladiolus flanaganniiglaflafla £8.50

Gladiolus illyricus

A hardy species native to southern and western Europe and the Mediterranean basin. It flowers from about April onwards in a variety of habitats which are mostly well drained and sunny. Stems with up to 10 flowers (facing in two different directions) bear quite large, showy, flowers of carmine, magenta or bright pink, each bloom with three pale pink, or white, streaks on the three lower petals.

Easily grown in any rich, fertile, well drained soil in full sun. Best planted deep and better not potted, lest the bulbs split up too much - which does not happen planted deeply, in the garden, and left alone.

Picture Carsten Niehaus at Wikipedia.

Gladiolus illyricusglaillill £2.50

Gladiolus italicus

Gladiolus italicus

Widely spread across Europe this is tolerant and easy with narrow leaves at the base of 30-45cm spikes of up to 15 purple-pink to magenta flowers in a one-sided spike in late spring and early summer, depending on your climate.

A loam based soil in full sun, with a dryish summer rest is all this requires to do well.

Photo by Dan Kenigsberg at Wikimedia,with thanks.

Gladiolus italicusglaitaita £2.80

Gladiolus italicus albus

Gladiolus italicus albus

A lovely white form of the European Gladiolus italicus which entered cultivation from the USA, originally as a white form of G. byzantinus (which it is not).

It makes narrow and unobtrusive, sword-shaped leaves and shortish flower stems which reach only 30-45cm tall. These bear pristine and unmarked, pure white flowers in April or May, depending on your climate.

It then yellows and dies away until the following spring. The corms, like the plant are proportionately small.

Well-drained, loam soil in full sun or in the company of dwarf herbaceous species. Feeding will help build size and maintain flowering, as will lifting and cleaning every 2-3 years.

Photograph Copyright © Angelo Porcelli, used with permission, and thanks.

Gladiolus italicus albusglaitaalb £10.00
Flowering sized, clonal propagations

Gladiolus kotschyanus

An unusual Asian Gladiolus found from Anatolia to Iran and Iraq, where it grows in habitats ranging from boggy meadows to sub-alpine levels.

It make just two or three, 1cm wide, ribbed leaves and a 40-60cm stem with a superb spike of individually large flowers of a crimson-violet shade, rare in the genus and hard to describe. Individuals with a far paler ground colour are also known, often with darker markings and frequently bicoloured. Our stock contains these lovely forms also.

Very hardy and an excellent garden plant rarely seen in cultivation however it is not difficult in a well drained, humus-rich soil in sun, a damp spring may benefit it, but is not essential.

Gladiolus kotschyanusglakotkot £5.00

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus papilio is a South African species is considered to be the hardiest one for outside, garden, cultivation in the UK.

It has narrow, grey-green foliage some 50-60cm long borne with the flowers which are made, in quantity in late summer and early autumn. The flowers always attract attention and are white, through cream and pale yellow, shaded outside with a flush of purple-maroon and marked, on the lip with a superbly contrasting eye of deep dark maroon. It is this mark that gives the epithet 'papilio' (butterfly) to the plant. Navy blue anthers complete the picture.

This thrives in a warm, sunny, well-drained position but it also tolerate damp positions if your garden is sheltered. It increases freely and flowers reliably and is hardy certainly to -12°C and perhaps below if it is well drained.

Increase is by stolons and the new corms form annually will reach flowering size within a season, if it is grown well.

Named by Joseph Hooker in 1866, introduced to our lists in 2013.

Gladiolus papilioglapappap £4.00
Flowering sized corms

Gladiolus robertsoniae

Gladiolus robertsoniae

Slender growths and spikes of beautiful, virtually white flowers with tiny red pencillings inside the flower, contrasted with yellow pollen. It is deliciously and powerfully spice-scented in the evening, an indication usually of Moth pollination.

This is restricted by lack of a suitable conditions in the wild as it is eminently growable and sets good seed in cultivation. Despite its wild habitats, it is best in a fertile, well-drained, very sandy but humus-enriched soil with good drainage but ample water when growing. This is not a garden species. It dislikes cold wet winter conditions though it is adapted to cold, due to its high altitude habitat. Frost-free cultivation is best, but with the minimum of heat needed to prevent freezing through, but not enough to encourage too much winter-growth. Good air circulation is also helpful with almost all of the winter-growing S. African Gladiolus.

A rare species from high altitude grassland in Mpumalanga. One of the rarest of Gladiolus in S. Africa, with a restricted and decreasing habitat, due to the advance of agriculture.

Picture ©Connall Oosterbroek, used with permission and thanks.

Gladiolus robertsoniaeglarobrob £8.50
Makes small corms only. These have all flowered. FEW

Gladiolus saundersii

The "Lesotho Lily" has 50-90cm tall stems bearing large flowers of salmon to scarlet with an infusion of orange. In contrast, the lower petals are white in the centre with the white speckled with the same scarlet-orange shades. The region around can sometimes, rarely, be a darker shade, as in our plants.

Reliably cold hardy, this can overwinter in the ground as long as it does not sit in stagnant wet conditions. In the wild it is a native of the highest regions of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa where it occurs at over 2700m near the ski resort of Tiffindell.

Hardy in the UK it likes deep planting in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun and lack of disturbance. Very little known but extremely deserving of cultivation.

Gladiolus saundersiiglasausau £14.00

Gladiolus sericeovillosus

This is a summer-growing, winter-dormant species from South Africa.

It has large, robust stems, reaching 80-100cm, or even 120cm tall in vigorous specimens, with broad, ornamental leaves below a two-sided spike of cream to softest caramel flowers often with a pink-infused hood, giving a bicoloured effect. Rarely, green marked or wine red flowers are known. Flowers start to appear in July. The whole plant is densely covered in small hairs.

Grown from seeds from South African seed though a different subspecies is known from Zimbabwe at considerable altitude (2,000m +). Supposedly hardy to -15°C and readily grown in the garden, outside, in a fertile, sunny spot in a decent soil with good drainage. Lifted and dried for the winter if you are not convinced that it is hardy.

Gladiolus sericeovillosusgladserser £9.50
flowering sized, dormant corms

Gladiolus symonsii

Many, more experienced, growers will have heard of the winter-green species of South African Gladiolus. These grow on a Mediterranean type cycle of winter wetness and summer dryness. I would bet that few gardeners are familiar however, with a far smaller group of species, from higher altitudes, which are summer growing and possibly hardy in the UK.

G. symonsii is one of the latter group. It starts leaf growth in spring and flowers in mid- to late-summer, with slender spikes of beautiful pure sherbet-lemon-yellow flowers (in this unoublished colour form). These are attractive and graceful, smaller than the monstrous creations of the hybridist but far, far more attractive.

These have been raised from seed in the UK and overwintered outside, in frames but unprotected. The species may be hardy - but please note the italics.

Gritty, well drained yet peaty soil in full sun and perhaps amenable to pot cultivation inside.

Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, at altitude.

Gladiolus symonsiiglasymsym £8.50
More or less flowering size, but naturally not a large species.

Gladiolus tristis

Gladiolus tristis

This is widespread in damper areas of its native South Africa and this is reflected by its ease of growth and tolerance of water when grown in the Northern hemisphere also.

It makes large, beautifully shaped flowers in shades of soft sulphur yellow, with a faint green tinge, reliably and freely. These are especially good for their light scent in the evening, especially if potted and kept under glass, though it is hardy outside with no problems here in full sun in a humus-enriched soil.

This is wintergreen and grows from late autumn onwards, flowering is in spring, dormancy is in summer when the plant likes to be dry.

Gladiolus tristisglatritri £3.50