Gladiolus flowers – interesting facts you may not know

Gladiolus flowers are impressive to behold and they make an excellent addition to gardens and cut flower arrangements alike. If you are planning on enjoying them in your garden or home, it’s always a good idea to learn as much about these blooms as possible. Here are some interesting flower facts that you may not know about gladioli.

Name and origins

Gladiolus flowers are also named xiphium which comes from the Greek word for sword, xiphos. This is because of the shape and appearance of the blooms. It is also interesting to note that this bloom is also referred to as the sword lily. There are about 260 species that we know today and only 10 of them can be found in Asia and Europe. The rest are all native to Africa and most of these can be found in South Africa due to the mild climate and fertile soil.

Size and colours

Gladiolus flowers can grow to an impressive height of 4 feet which is why they are often used in tall arrangements. Since the flowers only grow on one side of the stem, they need to be positioned in such a way that the blooms face outwards. As for colours, they are available in yellow, red, purple, pink and green, to name a few. While they are absolutely stunning, it is worth noting that they are not known for their scent. So, if you want a sweet-smelling bouquet, you will need to add some other blooms to the mix.


Not all blooms are safe to handle with bare hands and your gladiolus flowers are known to have toxic properties. Use latex gloves when preparing each stem and arranging them in a vase. You should also wear gloves whenever you change the vase water and trim the stems. In addition, you want to keep these blooms away from children and pets.

August birthdays

If you know somebody who celebrates their birthday in the month of August, this is the birth flower associated with this month. Even if you cannot send a bouquet that consists solely of gladiolus flowers, you can always have them included in the arrangement.


For those who plan on growing gladioli in their garden, you need to make sure that your pets will not have access to the plant. You do not want them nibbling on this plant due to its toxic properties. It is also important to keep an eye on your plants and watch out for leaf spots, thrip (small black insects) and any other bugs. It’s always worth investing in a pesticide to keep these bugs away since there is usually no way of reviving a plant that has become overrun by these critters.

These are just a few interesting facts about gladiolus flowers as well as tips on how to keep them happy if you choose to plant them in your garden. They are truly grand flowers and they deserve to be appreciated. If you grow them in your garden, you should definitely pick some to display in your home from time to time.