The Gladiola is August's Birth Flower
Everyone knows that they have a specific birthstone that is placed in jewelry and trinkets to signify the month they were born in. However, many people don't know that just like the stones, each month has a flower or two as well, which symbolizes birth. Here is the history and meaning behind your birth flower, the gladiola.
The Gladiola is native to South America but can be found growing in the United States and Europe. There are about 260 separate species. They are also referred to by many as Gladiolus, gladiola, "glads", and "Sword Lily" because of their long sword shaped leaves. However, the Gladiolas is not part of the Lily family. As a flower, the Gladiolas are one of the most popular flowers you will find planted in gardens because of their beauty, fragrance and the easiness of growing.
Gladiolas should be planted in the spring, and will grow and bloom in August. They can be found in several colors and bicolors, including pink to reddish or light purple with white, contrasting markings, or white to cream or orange to red, and blue. The blossoms open from the bottom first, but with harvesting will also open at the top either indoors or outdoors. They like rich, soft soil, plenty of water, and plenty of shade. Make sure the sun hits your Gladiolas during the day, but that your flowers are not drenched in sunlight all day, drying out the soil. Gladiolas can grow to 3 or 4 feet tall.
Gladiolas do not grow from a bulb as most flowers do, but they originate in a corm. The main difference being that a bulb produces new bulbs under the main bulb and the corm produces new corm's above the main corm. This makes it easy to dig up the corm, separate, wash and store the baby corm's till the next season when it is time to plant.
Fun and interesting fact: The Gladiola was adopted by actress Dame Edna Everage and was often seen in pictures and publicity shots for her. Morrissey has done the same since he was with the band The Smith's back in the 1980's.