digging dog nursery mendocino coast   garden perennials from digging dog nursery

Gladiolus tristis
at Digging Dog

Yellow Marsh Afrikaner


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'–12" high wide; hardy to zone 8.

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

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Digging Dog Nursery's borders recently featured in the new Garden Conservancy's book

We are proud to announce that we are among "50 of America's most beautiful gardens" in the Garden Conservancy's new book "Outstanding American Gardens"

Current Staff’s Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

Our favorite plant this week: We love Tricyrtis 'Empress' for its unique, late blooming flowers. Renowned for its extra large and wider open flowers, this exquisite, newly introduced Toad Lily is a formosana hybrid. Ornate, spidery spaced petals are inscribed by occasional darkened tips and irregular velvet-rich deep purple spots, stipples and mottling on a creamy white background. An enticing fall beacon amongst the shadows, ‘Empress’s showy terminal blooms are supported by an upright robust gathering of lustrous, semi-clasping dark green foliage that stays dapper all season.

Tricyrtis 'Empress'

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Customer Comment:

“All the plants were in excellent condition when I received them...and all were a wonderful size....I couldn't be happier! Digging Dog Nursery is going to be **my** nursery from now on!”

~Karen in Pennsylvania

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