Dear Jim, Gladiolus tristis var. aestivalis last year started into growth early, but it may have been one of the pots I watered before I went to South Africa. Some I did and some I waited until I got back. My data base says August-September which probably means it was growing when I got back and therefore I couldn't be sure when it came up. The year before first shoots appeared in October. The Southern African Gladiolus are an unusual group since some are dormant in winter, some dormant in summer, some almost evergreen, some bloom before leaves and some afterwards and they bloom summer, fall, winter, and spring. Since I have two pots of these I plan to experiment with them and try some in a new raised bed I'm creating. After I share some with the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens if I still have a few left, I'll send you some and you can try planting them late (if they don't start growing before) and see what happens. Mary Sue >Mary Sue, when does Gladiolus tristis var. aestivalis begin to grow for you?