A genus of about 180 species from Africa, Europe and the Middle East with most from South Africa, including the most desirable and showy of the species. Most of us know Gladioli made famous by Dame Edna Everage. However these blowsy, large-flowered cultivars are a result of selective hybridization of species over the years. Many gardeners have a preference for the true species Gladiolus as they do not require as much attention in regards to pest and disease control.
Gladiolus are Summer, Autumn or Spring flowering dependant on the species. They require a full sun position with some protection from heavy frost. All species require a good balanced fertiliser and plenty of lime. They all benefit from water in their active growing period.