Gladiolus hybrid: Sword Lily

Gladiolus [from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword] is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family [Iridaceae]. It is sometimes called the ‘Sword lily’, but usually by its generic name [plural gladioli, gladioluses, glads].  The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The center of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered.

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^ Gladiolus hybrid, Grandiflorus group

The genus Gladiolus contains about 260 species, of which 250 are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm across, and inflorescences bearing anything from one to several flowers.

Image

^ Gladiolus hybrid, Grandiflorus group

The spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce are the products of centuries of hybridisation, selection, and perhaps more drastic manipulation.

Photos: Flower DomeGardens By The Bay, Singapore 20130713

Source: Wikipedia

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