John, you mentioned something in passing which intrigues me. I was under the impression that Gladiolus xgandavensis was the first group of hybrid garden glads. But you say that Gladiolus xgandavensis was itself crossed " with existing garden hybrids, already a melange of genes from G. oppositiflorus, G. cardinalis, G. cruentus and possibly others. So one can surmise that the original Ghent gladiolus were already diverse in the 1840s when they were distributed by the van Houtte nursery;" In other words, Gladiolus xgandavensis was not the first group of hybrid gladiolus? Can you tell us more about this? For instance, do those earlier hybrids have group names? Also, was Gladiolus xgandavensis produced by crossing two wild Gladiolus, or did it arise by crossing then existing hybrids with Gladiolus dalenii? And are you saying that the original crosses which produced Gladiolus xgandavensis were soon supplanted by hybrids between the original xgandavensis hybrids and then existing hybrids, these more highly hybridized plants being the ones introduced by van Houtte as Gladiolus xgandavensis of commerce? I'm not trying to put you on the spot; no one may ever know the answers to some of those questions. But in pointing out the existence of hybrids earlier than Gladiolus xgandavensis, you have caused me to rethink my understanding of these earliest stages of hybrid Gladiolus development. Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I would like very much to acquire stock of Gladiolus 'Green Woodpecker'.