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Gladiolus tristis
at Digging Dog

Yellow Marsh Afrikaner

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 tristis full sun

So dainty and exquisite, this South African native is one of our favorite spring blooming bulbs. Rising from a stand of tall, rushlike narrow leaves, each flowering wand produces a trio of upturned, creamy yellow, tubular blossoms. Stippled with bronze and green, the large and lovely, flared flowers give off a sweet almond scent. For an untamed look, plant amidst grasses such as Sesleria and Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ or for contrasting foliage try Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’.

Blooms April – May.

Size: 3' 0"–12" high wide; hardy to zone 8.

Gladiolus tristis (P-1125)
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Other selections in this genus


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September is a transitory month in the garden. As summer’s end approaches, the shadows are growing longer and the days are becoming shorter. This time of year may find some landscapes a tad lackluster. When designing your garden, you may wish to include plants that remain perky thoughout the season or experience their heyday now. The plants featured in this newsletter provide a lot of late season oomph and promise to beckon you down the pathways of your garden.

Our next guided Saturday Stroll is September 16th., followed by October 7th. We hope you’ll come visit us this summer.

Digging Dog's Early September 2017 Newsletter Link

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