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Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus
  • RHS AGM

Byzantine gladiolus

G. communis subsp. byzantinus is a perennial to 90cm, growing from a corm, with erect sword-shaped leaves nearly as tall as the flowering stems. Deep magenta, funnel-shaped flowers with paler markings on the tepals, are 5cm in width, and borne in erect spikes from late spring to early summer

Synonyms
Gladiolus nanus 'Byzantinus'
Gladiolus byzantinus

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Red Green
Summer Purple Red Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Gladiolus are cormous perennials with fans of sword-shaped or linear leaves and spikes of funnel-shaped flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Spain, Sicily

How to grow

Cultivation

Plant corms 10-15cm deep and 10cm apart in any well-drained with full sun. Ideal for planting in groups in the border or in gravel gardens, suits naturalising in long grass and meadows if planted out when in growth; spreads freely from cormlets. See bulbs: naturalising and bulb cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by separating cormlets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • Wall side borders
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Tidy after foliage dies down if necessary

Pests

Susceptible to thrips, aphids and slugs

Diseases

Susceptible to grey moulds and gladiolus corm rot

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