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Gladiolus Gardening

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The gladiolus, also known as the sword lily, are is a perennial flowering plaint belonging to the family Iridaceae or the group of iris plants. The name comes from Latin word "gladius" which means a sword. Gladioli grow in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa, and South Africa but the plant's center of diversity is in the Cape Floristic Region being home to most of the approximately 260 species of gladioli discovered and identified. Around 250 species are native to Sub-Saharan Africa, 160 species are considered as endemic in southern Africa, while 76 species originate from tropical Africa.

Gladioli are propagated using their rounded symmetrical corms coated by layers of fibrous tunics. The stems are unbranched with narrow longitudinal grooved leaves. The secund and bisexual flowers blossoming from these plants are fragrant appearing in characteristic spikes that are large and one sided. The resembling sepals and petals are called tepals united at their base into a tube-shaped structure. Flower colors
range from pink to reddish or light purple that may also have white and other contrasting markings, or white to cream, or orange to red.

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