Gladiolus (or “gladioli” plural) are known for their tall, stately beauty and the ability to add a stunning quality to any decor or arrangement. But are you aware of the history, origins and meaning of this gem of a flower?
Gladiolus came to us all the way from South Africa by way of Europe. A great many of these eye-catching beauties were imported by Europeans in big quantities in the 18th century. They eventually made their way “across the pond” to the United States and went on to become a favorite here and all over the world.
Piercing Yet Therapeutic Roots
Believe it or not, the origins of gladiolus can be traced back even further in history, as some say they had a connection with the gladiators of ancient Rome. They were also used both in the Mediterranean and Great Britain to help treat and soothe a range of illnesses; for example, it was used in combination with goat’s milk for colic in infants. The stem base was also mashed into a poultice for extracting splinters.
Most concur that the gladiolus got its unique name from the term “gladius,” which is Latin for “sword.” The word and the name colorfully and accurately describe its smooth, sword-like stem and spear-like leaves.
Gladiolus Symbolism and Style
A gladiolus arrangement can symbolize a number of things from giver to recipient; it can convey having a crush on someone, but the flower can also be given whenever someone has had any sort of impact on you — not necessarily romantic. Gladioli can also help to mark the loss of a loved one, show sympathy, or as a way of honoring and showing respect after an ending of any kind.
Regardless of the intent, the gladiolus can complement and enhance just about any style and environment. They provide beautiful height in a tall flower arrangement as well as delight in accent pieces like bouquets and centerpieces.
The August Flower of the Month
Gladioli are the August birth flower, making them the perfect gift for an August event or for anyone with an August birthday. They are available in just about any color imaginable, so the ideal hue is sure to be within reach.
A gladiolus arrangement can bring a fresh, bright look to any circumstance or environment. Their long, sleek shoots are adorned with luxurious blossoms that bloom gradually upward from the stem base, unfolding more into their glory each day. The blooms are framed by green spears of foliage sprouting from their stems.
Are you ready to indulge in the opulence that is gladiolus? Order a bouquet or mixed arrangement from Billy Heroman’s today.