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Flower Spotlight: Gladiolus

Beautiful and sophisticated the gladiolus flower stands tall and is packed with symbolism. This trumpet-shaped flower has much to offer florists and flower enthusiasts. Keep reading to learn more about this unique bloom!

Origins and Symbolism

The gladiolus flower originates in sub-Saharan Africa, but in the 17th century it was brought to Europe in large quantities. Due to this flower’s long thick stems it is also referred to as the “sword lily.” The term gladiolus actually stems from the Latin word gladiolus, which means sword. Old legends say that the gladiolus came from the swords of fallen Roman gladiators. Even today, people say that receiving this flower means that you have been, “pierced with love.”

This flower symbolizes remembrance, strength of character and dignity. It is also associated with the 40th anniversary.

To Consider

The gladiolus flower is unique because it does not have a true bulb like other perennial flowers do but instead contains bulb-like structures called corm. Each bloom on this plant is supported by two leathery, green bracts. It can’t withstand cold temperatures so this flower is planted in the early spring.


More than 10,000 cultivated varieties of gladiolus exist today. This unique flower is available in various colors, heights and even patterns. This flower is popular for adding height to elaborate arrangements and is known to grow between two to six feet. With long stems reaching towards loved ones, this flower is common in sympathy arrangements and large displays for funerals. It’s available year round and has a vase life of 7-14 days.

This is a great flower to celebrate a birthday, reminisce on an anniversary, or remember a loved one.

Ask your florist what type of arrangement they could design for you with this special bloom, you won’t be disappointed with the result!

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