Gladiolus carneus

White form of Gladiolus carneus

This plant is South African in origin and it grows from a corm; it is sometimes known colloquially as 'painted lady'. Gladiolus carneus (ht 60 cm) is one of the many species of Gladiolus that have been cross-bred into myriad fancy, frilled cultivars, which aren't really my sort of plants. The species are nice plants, though not all of them grow well in Sydney.

Pink form of Gladiolus carneus

Gladiolus carneus does well, however; the basic form (shown above) has white flowers with purple markings, but my favourite is a lovely rich pink-flowered form (pictured at left) with white and crimson markings that has formed a good clump in my garden over the past few years. It seems a stronger plant than the white one, which can tend to look a bit weedy. The blooms appear in September and October, and the colour is very similar to that of Watsonia 'Wedding Bells', which flowers at the same time: I grow them near one another. The corms like a well-drained sunny position and not too much water over summer, when they are dormant.

Suitable for Cut Flowers. Flowers in September, October.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.