The name gladiolus comes from the latin word "gladius" meaning "sword", for the shape of its leaves. The Gladiolus flower represents the roman gladiators and symbolize strength of character.
The genus Gladiolus belongs to the family Iridaceae and are native to the mountains of South America. They are also widely grown in the U.S. and Europe.
Gladiolus are easy to grow and make beautiful floral arrangements as well as beautiful displays in the garden.
There are over 180 known species of the gladiolus today, but only a few of them are found in most gardens. They produce swordlike leaves and spikes of funnel-shaped flowers. Most species are native to South Africa, but many new varieties and hybrids have been developed. Gladiolus species are propagated primarily from corms ,where flowers open first from the base of the spike with the older flowers dying as new ones develop and open.
The gladiolus is a romantic flower and signifies remembrance. It also expresses infatuation, telling the receiver that he or she "pierces the heart." At one time, the roots of the gladiolus plant were thought to be an aphrodisiac.
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