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Gladiolus (Sword Lily)
at Digging Dog

Including Gladiolus cardinalis, Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus, and Gladiolus papilio

Gladiolus

Sword Lily

These are not the easily obtainable hybrids—you can find those elsewhere. The beauty of our native South African selections comes from the handsome sword-shaped leaves and spikes of unfussy, often flaring blooms.

Belonging to the Iridaceae family, Gladioli have long been associated with strength of character, and we think its strongly upright, yet graceful presence can fashion an intriguing see-through veil for any border. Place them in a well drained site and, after the bloom is over, support strong corm development by reducing water and trimming the stems to just beneath the lowest flowers. Provide winter protection in colder areas.

View a slideshow of plant images from this genus


Gladiolus cardinalis  full sun
Waterfall Gladiola

You can almost feel the heat as floriferous spikes sizzle with colorful intensity while stiff, ribbed Crocosmia-like blades stand in composed relief. Three white patches daringly dash across the lower petals, illuminating vividly hued cardinal-red flowers.

Seeking out moist niches, sometimes under waterfalls in its indigenous Drakensberg Mountains, this vigorous temptress tolerates summer water, makes an excellent garden plant for warmer climates and can be grown in a favored patio container where winters are cold.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2-1/4' high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 8.

Gladiolus cardinalis (P-1316)
Each $7.75
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AVAILABLE SPRING 2018


Gladiolus dalenii  full sun
Gladiolus dalenii

Reminiscent of Halloween candy corn colors and nearly in time for that high-spirited tradition, this South Africanís 3 ft. tall flowering spires deliver an alluring display. Grounded by straplike blades reaching up to 2 ft., the ample, well spaced blooms feature pendant, hooded orange petals glowing with yellow throats.

Full of vigor, easy-to-maintain and actively growing in summer, Gladiolus dalenii should receive adequate water throughout the season.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 2' 0"–3' 0" wide; hardy to zone 8.

Gladiolus dalenii (P-1269)
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Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus  full sun
Hardy Salmon Gladiola
Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus

Native to the grassy cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains, this high altitude Gladiolus possesses a robust hardiness that defies the exquisite beauty of its flowers.

Ruffled in pretty salmon-pink colors, the showy, 4 in. flared blooms exhibit dark pink-streaked lower petals, and are openly arranged on long slender stems above grassy blades. Appreciative of summer moisture, this lovely bulb flourishes in ordinary garden soil.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 2' 0"–3' 0" high x 10" wide; hardy to zone 6.

Gladiolus oppositiflorus ssp. salmoneus (P-1182)
Each $7.75
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AVAILABLE WINTER 2017


Gladiolus papilio  full sun
Gladiolus papilio

Emerging from a swordlike cluster of light green leaves, the arching bronzy stems host numerous slender green and mauve buds, which open into funnel-shaped blossoms distinguished by a soft gray and dusty purple hue on the outside. A subtle gift inside awaits your glance: mothlike markings of maroon and gold decorate the lower milky colored petal segments.

Let a drift of these delicacies accompany Galtonia viridiflora and Kniphofia linearifolia and enjoy their quiet elegance.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 12" & spreading; hardy to zone 7.

Gladiolus papilio (P-0797)
Each $7.50
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Gladiolus tristis  full sun
Yellow Marsh Afrikaner

So dainty and exquisite, this South African native is one of our favorite spring blooming bulbs. Rising from a stand of tall, rushlike narrow leaves, each flowering wand produces a trio of upturned, creamy yellow, tubular blossoms. Stippled with bronze and green, the large and lovely, flared flowers give off a sweet almond scent. For an untamed look, plant amidst grasses such as Sesleria and Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ or for contrasting foliage try Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’.

Blooms April – May.

Size: 3' 0"–12" high wide; hardy to zone 8.

Gladiolus tristis (P-1125)
SOLD OUT!
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Latest News

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

staff favorite plant

The plants featured in our vignette: Gaura lindheimeri 'Pink Cloud', Crocosmia 'Harlequin', Pennisetum orientale 'Tall Tails'

Splendid September Plants, Winsome vignettes for sunny or shady garden nooks, September Splendor Sale!

Meld intriguing texture and lively colors for a splendid September display.

As Summer draws to a close....

September is a transitory month in the garden. As summer’s end approaches, the shadows are growing longer and the days are becoming shorter. This time of year may find some landscapes a tad lackluster. When designing your garden, you may wish to include plants that remain perky thoughout the season or experience their heyday now. The plants featured in this newsletter provide a lot of late season oomph and promise to beckon you down the pathways of your garden.

Our next guided Saturday Stroll is September 16th., followed by October 7th. We hope you’ll come visit us this summer.

Digging Dog's Early September 2017 Newsletter Link

More news, events, and favorite plants

Customer Comment:

“I have often ordered by mail or online, and I must say that your plants far exceed the size and quality of most of the other nurseries with whom I have dealt.  You can be sure that I will be a frequent customer in the future.”

~J.A. In Virginia


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