Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Free personalised gardening advice
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
We have combined these two powerful search tools into a single Find a Plant service searching over 250,000 plant records.
Virtually all of the features of the old searches are still available and in addition we have added several new features to create a more comprehensive and user friendly search experience.
When using this search
Search by plant name, key attributes or both to find plant details and a list of
AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:
This plant will provide nectar and pollen for bees and the many other types of pollinating insects.
It is included in an evolving list of plants carefully researched and chosen by RHS experts. Divided into 3 groups these lists, linked below, are maintained by a team of RHS staff and are reviewed annually.
the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9
Other common names
butterfly sword lily
Gladiolus are cormous perennials with fans of sword-shaped or linear leaves and spikes of funnel-shaped flowers
G. papilio is a clump-forming perennial to 1m, with narrow, grey-green leaves. From summer to autumn, arching flower stems bear up to ten hooded flowers, flushed white and lilac-purple on the outside, with purple and yellow markings on the inside of the lower petals
S E South Africa
All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets
Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing
MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained
SoilLoam, Chalk, Sand
pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral
Time to ultimate height
Plant 10 to 16cm deep on a bed of sharp sand in fertile, well-drained soil. Lift when foliage dies back, discard old corms and store new corms in a dry frost-free place until planting in the spring. In milder areas a thick dry winter mulch may suffice
Propagate by separating cormlets when dormant
Suggested planting locations and garden types
Flower borders and beds Cut Flowers
Cottage & Informal Garden
Pruning No pruning required
Pests Susceptible to thrips, aphids and slugs
Susceptible to grey moulds and gladiolus corm rot
RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.