Gladiolus more commonly known as “glads” is the traditional flower listed for those born in the month of August. They are a member of the iris family and will occasionally be referred to as sword lilies; Due to their tall stalks and sharply pointed leaves and the pointed tips on the flowers. Gladiolus comes from the Latin word gladiolus, clearly a reference to the ancient roman gladiators. This is only the beginning of the legends and myths that surround the gladiolus flowers.
It is also believed that the assigning of birth months with specific flowers also began during the reign of the Roman Empire. During the celebrations of someone’s birth it was traditional at that time for family and friends to carry gifts of flowers to the celebration. They became not only gifts but the decoration during the celebration. It was believed that the gladiolus represented both strength of character and a deep abiding sincerity.
However, the meaning of gladiolus really didn’t come into their own until the Victorian era. During this time it was expressly forbidden to speak or express any type of feeling related to matters of the heart. The meanings of gladiolus were cemented during this era and still continue today with the meaning being “love at first sight” in addition to sincerity and strength.
Today, when shopping for glads, you can choose from 255 different species that range in size from five feet tall to as short as two feet tall. Blossoms range from wavy, frilled or ruffled petals to the traditional elegant trumpet –shaped blossoms that grow in a double row. Also they are available in just about any color, thought traditionally they tend to be white, yellow, red, orange, and pink.
In addition to being the birth flower for those born in August the Gladiolus is listed as the traditional gift for those couples celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary.