Gladiolus communis

Quick Characteristics:

Height: 45-60 cm (1.5-2 ft)
Flower Colors: purple

Gladiolus communis is listed on The Plant List with 23 synonyms. It is distributed from the Mediterranean to Caucasus. The species names byzantinus and communis are often given as synonyms and you often see Gladiolus byzantinus ssp. communis, Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus, and Gladiolus communis var. byzantinus. It is deep purple-red with narrow, paler marks outlined in dark purple on the lower lobes. In Angelo Porcelli's paper Gladiolus of Southern Italy he explains the difference between this species, Gladiolus byzantinus and Gladiolus italicus. This species grows up to 40 inches (100 cm). The three lower tepals are more or less the same length and width. The upper central tepal is hooded. G. communis often has a slight two-tone effect on the lower tepals, but this is not a reliable feature, as many individuals are a solid color. The median tepals have a "spoon" shape. The seeds are winged, 3 to 5 mm and corm tunics have very close parallel veins. The plants in the first photo below from Bob Rutemoeller were blooming at Kew Gardens in May 2004 under the label Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus. The next two photos were taken from the article by Angelo Porcelli mentioned above.

Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinus, Bob RutemoellerGladiolus communis, Angelo PorcelliGladiolus corms, Angelo Porcelli

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