Not only is the gladiolus a perfect flower for the summer months, it has been officially recognized as the birth flower of August. There are over 250 species of the flower, ranging in height from two to five feet tall. Often referred to as “sword lilies” for their acutely sharp leaves and tall stalks, the long and elegant gladiolus’ name even evokes visions of the ancient Roman gladiators. Trumpet shaped flowers form a double row along the stem; and hybrid efforts have resulted in multi-colored, wavy petals.
Gladiolus was originally found in tropical Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. It is estimated that the plants made their way to Europe in the early 18th century. From its earliest days in Europe the bloom was used to treat physical ailments, although some parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten by people or animals. By the 1820s, gardeners and enthusiasts began to cultivate gladiolus; hybrid flowers which became staples in cut flower arrangements and personal gardens were originated in this era. Before long, Belgian gardeners were successful in cultivating green, brown and purple shades of gladiolus flowers. Over the ensuing decades, over 2000 named varieties of the bloom were identified. The gladiolus became a coveted flower in US nurseries just before the turn of the century, in the 1890’s .
Gladiolus flowers are considered to carry multiple meanings. Because of their affiliation with gladiators, they often stand for strength, sincerity and moral fortitude. Gladiolus flowers also represent honor and remembrance. Victorian romantics determined that their sword-shaped leaves were capable of piercing a heart with their beauty, adding infatuation or enthrallment to the list of traditional meanings. In addition to being a standard summer flower and the August birth flower, gladiolus arrangements are also the traditional gift for 40th wedding anniversaries. So whether there is a big anniversary, an August celebration, or just a desire to have a gorgeous and sophisticated floral arrangement at your summer gathering, a gladiolus bouquet is an elegant choice.
Central Square Florist of Cambridge is your hometown source for all your summer floral needs. Plants, flowers, arrangements or gifts, head into Central Square Florists today!