Hey, August babies! Your birth flower is one of the most colorful, majestic flowers there is: the gladiolus. The gladiolus is unique in that its flowers grow from a tall spike lined with sharp leaves like corn leaves. Its nickname “sword lily” comes from its Latin name “gladius”, meaning sword, and refers to the shape of its leaves.
When offered as a gift, the gladiolus symbolizes love at first sight and that the gift
giver’s heart is pierced with love. The August birth flower is also known as the flower of the gladiators. In Ancient Rome, gladiators would fight “to the death by gladioli” and the crowd would cover the winner in colorful gladiolas. Therefore, the flower can also be a symbol of moral character and honor.
Gladioli are known to symbolize strength of character, faithfulness, integrity, infatuation, and persistence. Beyond these meanings, the birth flower for August carries other meanings that differ by color:
Red gladioli symbolize love.
Pink gladioli symbolize compassion.
White gladioli symbolize innocence.
Yellow gladioli symbolize joy.
Purple gladioli symbolize charm and grace.
Gladioli are used to full effect as a statement flower in funerals in many countries, for tall, stately tributes especially in white. Red glads make a bright, dramatic counterpoint for Chinese New Year celebrations, and a vase full of nothing but light and hot pink spears is a stunning gift for a beloved mother on Mother’s Day.
A nice extra for florists is the fact that glads can be snapped off at the tops to the height needed, without affecting the flower itself. But, with this flower, the taller, the better!
Over the years, glads have been improved upon and hybridized; now, there are
generally two sizes – the large-flowered standard gladiola, and the smaller “Orchidolia”, with bi-colored, tropical looking blooms. Glads bloom bottom to top, so if you have a vase full of them, simply pull off blooms as they die and the rest of the flower spike will continue blooming upward, prolonging the life of your arrangement.
Happy birthday, August babies!