Hardy Gladiolus

J.E. Shields jshields104@insightbb.com
Mon, 22 Aug 2005 10:09:42 PDT
Hi all,

The usual hardy gladiolus in Northern gardens are the Eurasian species like 
GG. communis byzantinus, italicus, illyricus, and imbricatus.  These all 
bloom in the spring or very early summer, with colors in the 
pink-magenta-purple range.  I consider G. imbricatus to have the nicest 
flowers, since they spread out a bit laterally.  A plant I grow under the 
name Gladiolus caucasicus seems to have flowers very much like imbricatus, 
but caucasicus has been hardier than imbricatus for me.  I grow my 
caucasicus in partial shade in a bed that never gets extra watering.  I 
just sent seed of it to the 2005-2006 NARGS SeedEx under the name Gladiolus 

The South African gladiolus species and hybrids, when hardy here, bloom in 
late summer -- right about now. As Jim W. mentioned, they make a nice 
seasonal balance for the early flowering Eurasian types.

My dalenii have not proved to be very hardy outdoors here.  Of course, 
dalenii is one of the most wide-ranging species in southern Africa.  So 
there should be ecotypes -- local races -- of dalenii that would be hardy 
here.  Anyone know of any examples?

Are there other South Africans besides oppositiflorus and dalenii - 
primulinus - gandavensis types that are hardy in cold climates?

Later in autumn, I can trade corms of oppositiflorus salmoneus for hardy 
dalenii or other species if anyone has some.

Jim Shields

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:    http://www.shieldsgardens.com/
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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