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August – Gladiola

Photo/Illustration: Lee Ann White
Photo/Illustration: Lee Ann White

Botanical name: Gladiolus spp. and cvs. (syn. Acidanthera spp. and cvs.)
Common name: Gladiola, sword lily

Gladiolas (you can call them glads, for short) are the birth flower for people born in August. Sword-shaped glads get their name from the Latin word gladius, which means–you guessed it–sword.

People think of gladiolas as old-fashioned. You might even recall your grandparents talking about growing gladiolas. Maybe you’re thinking you have an old-fashioned, not-so-exciting birth plant. After all, roses have such a rich and meaningful history, and delphiniums’ poisonous extracts were used to scare away scorpions!

But remember that Claude Monet liked old-fashioned glads enough to paint them. Even better, you can breed your own Gladiolus hybrids. If that’s not a cool birth flower, then I don’t know what is.

Have you had luck with breeding glads?

See all birth flowers/plants:
January: Carnation, February: Iris, March: Daffodil, April: Daisy, May: Lily of the Valley, June: Rose, July: Delphinium, August: Gladiola, September: Aster, October: Pot Marigold, November: Chrysanthemum, December: Paperwhite

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