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A SPECIES OF: Gladioli

BOTANICAL NAME: Gladiolus Gandavensis

SYMBOLISM: Strength, Intention, moral integrity, and infatuation.

DESCRIPTION: Gladioli grow from rounded, symmetrical corms, (similar to crocuses) that are enveloped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics. Their stems are generally unbranched, producing 1 to 9 narrow, sword-shaped, longitudinal grooved leaves, enclosed in a sheath. The lowest leaf is shortened to a cataphyll. The leaf blades can be plane or cruciform in cross section.The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm across, and inflorescence bearing anything from one to several flowers. The spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce are the products of centuries of hybridisation and selection.

NAME STORY: Gladiolus name comes from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, meaning a sword. It is sometimes called the 'sword lily', but is usually called by its generic name (plural gladioli).

INTERESTING FACTS: In the 17th century, gladiolus gandavensis was just a wildflower that was enjoyed by aristocratic wives. It was cultivated artificially and welcomed by many families. When president Reagan visited China in 1984, more than 1,000 gladiolus gandavensis were specially brought in to enhance the banquet atmosphere.