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ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Gladiolus, Natal lily
Botanical name: Gladiolus dalenii/natalensis      Family: Iridaceae (Iris family)

The name "Gladiolus" is derived from the Latin word "gladius", meaning "sword", for the shape of its leaves. An ancient name for the gladiolus was "xiphium," from the Greek word "xiphos", also meaning sword. The gladiolus flower is the birth flower for August; it also represented the Roman gladiators. Gladiolus are native to the mountains of South America. They are widely grown in India. Gladiolus are easy to grow, and are the favourite flowers in India for bouquets, hence their popularity. Blossoms come in a wide range of colors and bicolors, including blue. The blossoms will open from the bottom first. Harvest spikes of Gladiolus just before the top blossoms open. The top blossoms will open indoors.

Identification credit: Marsha Swartz Photographed in Delhi

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