Colorful gladiolas have colorful stories behind their names. Find out what these are and the different types of these August flowers.
Gladiolus flowers belong to the iris family and has 260 species — 250 of which originated in sub-Saharan Africa while 10 from Eurasia. The flowers are famous for their distinct sword-shaped leaves for which it got its name. It literally means a little sword in Latin while its ancient name Xiphium is the Greek word for sword.
Though unrelated, it’s also been referred to as Sword Lily or Corn Lily. Gladiolus also used to represent the Roman Gladiators or more specifically, their swords.
Table of Contents
- Abyssinian Sword Lily (Gladiolus callianthus murielae)
- Albus (Gladiolus x colvillii)
- Ben Venuto
- Blue Moon
- Byzantine Gladiolus (Gladiolus communis ssp Byzanthinus)
- Charming Beauty
- Forte Rosa
- Lemon Drop
- Little Darling
- Princess Margaret Rose
- Rose Supreme
- White Prosperity
Abyssinian Sword Lily (Gladiolus callianthus murielae)
Getting up to 3 feet in height, this type of gladiola has a star-like shape and petals that are bright-white in color with deep-purple blotches at the heart. They bloom in late-Summer or early-Fall, and they are graceful and elegant-looking. The winner of several international flower awards, this flower should be planted after the frost in the Spring, and it does best in soil that is not allowed to get dry.
With deep-green, sword-shaped leaves, the Adrenaline has petals that are pale-pink flushed with rose-pink and yellow centers that make them truly eye-catching. The stems are sturdy and upright, and they grow up to 40 inches high, making them truly noticeable. This type of gladiola blooms in early-Summer, and it makes an ideal cut plant to place in vases. In addition, it needs consistent moisture and full sun to look its best, and planting them in groups of five or more makes for a very attractive garden.
Albus (Gladiolus x colvillii)
A type of gladiola or sword lily, this flower is pure-white in color and is trumpet-shaped. With delicate yellow marks on the lower petals and bluish anthers, they have been around since the early 1870s and bloom in early-Summer. They grow up to 20 inches tall and make perfect border plants, and the best zones for planting them are zones 8-10. They are also easy to grow as long as you follow certain protocol, such as keeping the soil moist and well-drained.
Only in existence since 1946, this type of gladiola has up to 7 bright-red flowers per stem, and each petal has an elegant silver-white trim on it. It has deep-green leaves that are striking in contrast to the bright-red blooms, and it can grow up to 3 feet in height. It looks amazing in a garden or in a vase, and it does best in full sun and well-drained but moist soil. Plant them close together for a more beautiful look, and you can reduce your watering once the plants start to bloom.
With large, eye-catching, coral-pink petals and creamy-white hearts, this type of gladiola is ideal for cutting and placing in vases or containers. The blossoms are elegantly ruffled on the tips, and each flower can grow up to 23 buds. Best when planted in full sun, the Ben Venuto blooms profusely and quickly, and it grows up to 5 feet in height. Perfect for borders and gardens of any size, the flower does well in zones 2-10, and it can handle any type of soil except clay.
The Blue Moon gladiolas are able to bring a calm feeling to your garden with their various shades of blue and purple, and they do best in zones 3-10. They get up to 5 feet high and do best in full sun if you want them to look their prettiest. Hummingbirds love them, and they bloom from mid-Summer to the first frost. They also look beautiful in vases and containers. They are also easy to grow and resistant to deer.
Byzantine Gladiolus (Gladiolus communis ssp Byzanthinus)
With narrow, sword-shaped leaves and petals that are funnel-shaped and magenta in color, this gladiola blooms in late-Spring to early-Summer and gets up to 3 feet high. Each petal is about 2 inches wide, and there are roughly 15 of them on each stem. In addition, they are great for beds and borders, and they gradually spread into large clumps. They need to be planted in the Fall, and they need winter mulch to keep them warm if you live in an area that gets too cold.
A striking plant with petals of bright purplish-pink and blotches of white, this type of gladiola includes sword-shaped, deep-green leaves that perfectly complement its petals. It blooms in early-Summer and gets up to 30 inches high. It also works best if you give it plenty of sun and moist, but well-drained soil. The Charm does well in most growing zones, and it is most attractive when planted in groups of five or more plants.
This flower has long-lasting blooms and petals that are soft-pink in color and have a white throat. Perfect in well-drained but moist soil and when grown in full sun, the Charming Beauty gets up to 30 inches tall and has blooms that have up to 7 flowers per stem. It is spectacular enough to be placed in a vase by itself, but it looks fantastic with other plants as well. Also known as a sword lily, this type of gladiola looks great when planted in groups of five or more, and they bloom profusely in early-Summer.
The Costa has beautiful white petals with lilac-purple flushes throughout, and the petals are gently ruffled and elegant-looking. Ideal for use in vases and containers, the flower has narrow, dark-green leaves that complement the color of the blooms, and it can handle any type of soil except for clay. If you plant them close together, they portray a more dense, full look that is truly eye-catching, and they can be started indoors if the first frost hasn’t occurred.
If you love colors such as pink and red, the Elvira is for you. Its petals are pale-pink in color with flushes of red throughout them, and they grow 6 or so flowers per stem. Growing up to 30 inches in height, this plant blooms in early-Summer and does great in full sun and moist but well-drained soil. It makes beautiful borders and looks fantastic in containers or vases, and it is simply stunning with planted in large groups with other gladiolas.
This is a striking gladiola that has soft peach-colored petals and erect, deep-green leaves. The plant itself grows up to 5 feet high, and although it looks great on its own – especially when planted in groups of five or more – it is also an amazing flower in vases, containers, and borders. Perfect for planting in zones 2-10, it does well in most areas except with clay soil, and if you plant a lot of them together, you won’t have the need to use stakes on them
The Lemon Drop has stunning, lemon-yellow petals with apricot flushes near the heart, as well as pointed, sword-like leaves that complement the petals themselves. The petals are delicate and have slightly ruffled edges, and they bloom in mid- to late-Summer. Growing up to 5 feet in height, the Lemon Drop has strong stems that can withstand heavy rain, and they look spectacular when planted in large groups. You can start them indoors before the first frost or directly in the ground afterwards, and they look beautiful in containers and vases, not to mention regular garden beds and borders.
This gladiola has pink-rose petals with lemon-yellow centers. With up to 16 buds per stem, the Little Darling has narrow leaves that are deep-green in color and grows up to 42 inches tall. Blooming early, the blossoms stick around for roughly two weeks, and if you plant them in full sun and in soil that is moist but well-drained, they can last even longer. Their colors make them a beautiful addition to containers and vases, and they are perfect as the centerpiece of your garden, regardless of its size.
This type of gladiola has gently crimped and ruffled petals that are lavender-blue in color and get up to 10 blooms on each stem. The leaves are narrow and deep-green in color, and they bloom in early-Summer. Growing up to 4 feet in height, the flower looks spectacular in vases or containers, and if you want to show off something amazing as the centerpiece of your garden, the Milka is the one to consider. The more of them you plant together, the less likely you will need to stake the flowers, and they always grow best in full sun and well-drained but moist soil.
Another type of sword lily or gladiola, this flower blooms in early-Summer and grows up to 30 inches in height. The flowers are stunning, with creamy-white petals and pink, teardrop-shaped markings and up to 6 buds per stem. Their upright stems are sturdy and long-lasting, and they do best in full sun and moist soils. With the exception of clay soil, they grow just about anywhere, and they look amazing in vases and as the centerpiece of your garden.
Princess Margaret Rose
With its glowing, fiery-hot colors that include red, orange, and yellow, this type of gladiola has blossoms that have ruffled edges that are arranged both symmetrically and closely for a truly stunning look. Their pointed leaves perfectly complement the beautiful petals, and they bloom in mid- to late-Summer. They grow up to 4 feet tall and do best in full sun or partial shade. Because strong winds can damage them, it is best to plant the Princess Margaret Rose in areas that are shaded and well-protected. Other than that, you can count on them to brighten up your garden regardless of what it looks like now.
The Priscilla has beautiful tricolor flowers that automatically catch people’s attention. They have a white background with a beautiful raspberry-pink trim and a soft-yellow throat, along with stems that are sturdy and get up to 5 feet high. With over a dozen buds per stem, this flower is truly stunning, and when blooming in mid- to late-Summer, it looks amazing in containers, vases, and as a border for your garden. If you plant them close together you likely will have no need to stake them, and the flowers do best if you never let the soil dry out completely.
This type of gladiola has fiery-red petals with small white markings, along with narrow, deep-green leaves that can grow up to 2 feet in height. The winner of several international flower awards, the Robinetta grows up to 7 flowers per stem and looks great in containers or vases. They bloom in early-Summer for up to 4 weeks, and they should always be planted in spaces that protect them from strong winds. They also look best if you plant them in large groups with other gladiolas.
These flowers are warm-salmon in color and have creamy-colored hearts near the center. They grow best in full sun and in soil that is well-drained but moist, and they can grow up to 4 feet high. Perfect as the centerpiece of your garden, they also look great in borders and vases, and they can be started indoors if the first frost hasn’t occurred yet. You can extend their life by planting them every few weeks or so, and they do well in almost all types of soil.
Like its name implies, the Violetta has bright dark-purple petals and a delicate silver-white lining on the inside of each petal. They are eye-catching and truly stunning, which makes them perfect if you’re looking for something to use as the centerpiece of your garden. They look great in vases and containers, and it is always best not to let the soil get too dry. They have strong, showy leaves that perfectly complement the petals, and they can grow up to 5 feet in height.
A beautiful creamy-white flower, the petals are quite large and have slightly ruffled edges. They can grow up to 4 inches in diameter, and they sit atop strong and attractive sword-like leaves. You can reduce your watering after they have bloomed, and they grow best in full sun and partial shade. Keeping them away from spaces that expose them to hard winds is also important, as is making sure the soil never gets too dry.
This gladiola has bright-pink petals and cheery yellow hearts, as well as beautiful stems that get as high as 4 feet. They bloom in mid-Summer to the first frost, and they are easy to grow, especially if you plant them in the full sun. The Windsong is a stunning flower that looks great in containers and vases, but you can put them in any arrangement that looks thin or sporadic to make it look a lot fuller.
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