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Gladiolus papilio
at Digging Dog

Gladiolus papilio

<i>Gladiolus papilio</i>

Gladiolus

Sword Lily

These are not the easily obtainable hybrids—you can find those elsewhere. The beauty of our native South African selections comes from the handsome sword-shaped leaves and spikes of unfussy, often flaring blooms.

Belonging to the Iridaceae family, Gladioli have long been associated with strength of character, and we think its strongly upright, yet graceful presence can fashion an intriguing see-through veil for any border. Place them in a well drained site and, after the bloom is over, support strong corm development by reducing water and trimming the stems to just beneath the lowest flowers. Provide winter protection in colder areas.

Gladiolus papilio full sun

Emerging from a swordlike cluster of light green leaves, the arching bronzy stems host numerous slender green and mauve buds, which open into funnel-shaped blossoms distinguished by a soft gray and dusty purple hue on the outside. A subtle gift inside awaits your glance: mothlike markings of maroon and gold decorate the lower milky colored petal segments.

Let a drift of these delicacies accompany Galtonia viridiflora and Kniphofia linearifolia and enjoy their quiet elegance.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 12" & spreading; hardy to zone 7.

Gladiolus papilio (P-0797)
Each $7.50
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Other selections in this genus


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Our favorite plant this week: We love Geranium 'Bevan's Variety' for it's deer tolerant and stalwart habit, which sports richly colored, long blooming summer flowers. Named for the thick fleshy rhizomes by which it spreads, ‘Bevan’s Variety’ is one of the best ground cover plants for shady areas. Flourishing year after year in our older border with early flowering Brunnera and Euphorbia ‘Great Dixter’. Bearing clusters of intensely colored dark magenta flowers and decorative deep red sepals above soft green aromatic foliage.

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