One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An Old World plant of the iris family, with sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brightly colored flowers, popular in gardens and as a cut flower.
Genus Gladiolus, family Iridaceae: many species
- ‘He officially opened a new polytunnel in the school's garden and helped children to plant gladioli bulbs, tomatoes, runner beans and broad beans.’
- ‘Babiana looks a little bit like a gladiolus, but is much smaller with Freesia-like flowers in clusters.’
- ‘Among these, the best known are the stunning Asiatic and Oriental lilies, dramatic gladioli, and the many incarnations of dahlia.’
- ‘This group contains varieties in which the plants are not as big as the large-flowering gladioli, therefore the flowers are also a little smaller.’
- ‘A member of the iris family, gladiolus have great diversity of flower color and shape.’
- ‘Together with gladioli, lilies and begonias, the dahlias are one of the most important and popular summer-flowering bulbs.’
- ‘In the perennial gardens, the use of colorful and fragrant plants, including gladiolus, iris, tuberose and alstroemeria, is abundant.’
- ‘Other sachets contained bits of reproductive material, called propagules, of calla lilies or gladioli.’
- ‘The tulip is followed in popularity by the daffodil and other narcissi, the gladiolus, the lily and the crocus.’
- ‘Is it too early to plant gladiolus and caladiums?’
Old English (originally denoting the gladdon), from Latin, diminutive of gladius ‘sword’ (used as a plant name by Pliny).
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