Gladiolus is named for its sword-like leaves as
"gladius" means "sword" in Latin. The wild plant
probably originated in Africa and varieties have been
extensively cultivated for their showy spikes of
blossoms in a wide range of colours. The present-day
varieties are grown from their underground corms which
bud off little cormels during the growing season and these
are used to propagate the plants. Some may also be
grown from seeds.
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