Most of the species in this genus are tender perennials. Although they are often mistakenly called bulbs, they are actually corms which are stem tissue. The eyes on the sides of the corms are buds that develop into cormels which eventually become full sized corms. There are some species that are reliably perennial in temperate regions but these are not the tall, spectacular flowers that most people associate with the name.

00394981494Most people raise gladiolus as an annual since the corms need to be dug in the fall after the frost has killed the foliage. Perhaps the most serious problem with them is thrips which may cause discoloration of foliage and shattering of the flowers.

The name, Gladiolus, is a derivation of the Latin word meaning sword and is in reference to the sword-shaped leaves.

Gladiolus callianthus Peacock Orchid
G. x hortianus Gladiolus, Gladiola


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