Was Gladiolus - specifically G. palustris

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:36:18 PST
Jim Waddick wrote,
>Dear friends,
>         Never tried growing Gladiolus palustris before, but assume 
> it is hardy in cold climates from its distribution in Europe.
>         Anyone have experience growing this one?        Appreciate 
> comments             Thanks  Jim W.

I have grown Gladiolus palustris for many years, without protection. 
My former garden was not quite as cold as Jim's, but similar. This 
and many of the other Eurasian Gladiolus species are meadow plants, 
often seen in cultivated fields because they produce many tiny 
offsets which are spread by plows. They also seed freely. They 
tolerate dry summers but don't require them. All have small, bright 
pink (rarely white) flowers in narrow spikes that show up well among 
the grasses and other plants that usually surround them; they do best 
with the support of nearby plants as they can be blown over if they 
don't have it. Their best use in the garden is as bright accents 
mingled with annuals or spotted among "ornamental" grasses. Seed is 
readily available through exchanges and flowering plants can be had 
the third year from sowing. Mature bulbs (actually corms) should be 
planted fairly deep to limit their "breaking up" into small ones. If 
you have a choice, I would choose G. illyricus or G. italicus over G. 
palustris because they have larger flowers.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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