Gladiolus cultivation

N Sterman TalkingPoints@PlantSoup.Com
Mon, 17 Mar 2008 22:35:50 PDT
I arrived home from the San Francisco Flower Show close to midnight  
on Saturday night and as I stumbled to the front door, I was stopped  
in my tracks by a wonderful fragrance.  In the dark, I couldn't  
pinpoint it, but the next morning when I walked outside, I saw that  
my Gladiolus tristis are in full exuberant bloom.  I knew they  
released their scent in the afternoon but I had no idea how strong it  
is at night.  I expect they are moth pollinated since they are a  
ghostly pale yellow and fragrant when it is dark outside.

I started with just a few bulbs and now six or seven years later,   
they are very generous clumps.  My mediterranean climate seems to be  
much to their liking - helped along by the fact that I am very stingy  
with summer water.

In a few weeks, I expect that their polar opposite, G. byzantinus  
will be blooming its fiery magenta head off.  Similar scale plants  
and similar scale flowers, but leaves are about 1/2" across (G.  
tristis leaves are as fine as a blade of grass).  Both grow to about  
2' tall in my garden.

G. dalenii blooms in fall here in Southern California.

The spring glads do so well and are so easy that I included them in  
my recent book.

Hope this helps, Dell!

PS  I wholeheartedly agree that species glads are far more beautiful  
than the gaudy ones that are best used in funeral arrangements.


Nan Sterman  Plant Soup, Inc. TM
PO Box 231034
Encinitas, CA 92023

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