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Gladiolus tristis (Marsh Afrikaner)

Marsh Afrikaner, Sad-Flowered Sword Lily, Evening Flower, Ever-Flowering Gladiolus

Gladiolus tristis, Marsh Afrikaner, Sad-Flowered Sword Lily, Evening Flower, Ever-Flowering Gladiolus, Fragrant Gladiolus, Fragrant Sword Lily,  Summer Gladiolus, Summer Sword Lily, Fall Gladiolus, Fall Sword Lily
Gladiolus tristis, Marsh Afrikaner, Sad-Flowered Sword Lily, Evening Flower, Ever-Flowering Gladiolus, Fragrant Gladiolus, Fragrant Sword Lily,  Summer Gladiolus, Summer Sword Lily, Fall Gladiolus, Fall Sword Lily
Gladiolus tristis, Marsh Afrikaner, Sad-Flowered Sword Lily, Evening Flower, Ever-Flowering Gladiolus, Fragrant Gladiolus, Fragrant Sword Lily,  Summer Gladiolus, Summer Sword Lily, Fall Gladiolus, Fall Sword Lily

Prized for its sweet fragrance, Gladiolus tristis (Marsh Afrikaner) is a cormous perennial boasting large, funnel-shaped, creamy-white flowers, 2.5-3 cm (6-8 cm), flushed with green or pale yellow. Borne on long, wiry stems, the blossoms open progressively in the spring and exude a delicate scent in the evening. The scent is variously described as carnation, clove, almond, or honeysuckle. Gladiolus tristis produces dark green, narrow, upright, linear leaves in fall, following summer dormancy. Native to the marshy grasslands of Southern Africa, this spring-flowering perennial spreads by seed and by cormlets. It is not invasive, but be aware of what you’re doing if you put it in the ground in a Mediterranean climate. Easily grown, it is a great addition to the garden. Excellent cut flowers.

  • Grows up to 24-36 in. tall (60-90 cm).
  • Best flowering occurs in full sun in well-drained soils. Allow going dry and dormant in summer.
  • Good candidate for beds and borders, cottage gardens, rock gardens, or containers.
  • Keep an eye out for thrips, aphids, slugs, gray mold, and corm rot.
  • Propagate by seed or by separating cormlets when dormant.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.
  • Gladiolus tristis is native to South Africa.

Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Impressive Gladiolus Flowers


Prized for their majestic flower spikes, are popular flower bulbs. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, Gladiolus (Sword-Lilies) always provide a spectacular effect with their rich and cheerful colors and their breathtaking vertical lines. With very little work needed, they will burst into bloom and add bright notes of summer color to the garden, in your pots or inside your home. However, some basic rules need to be followed to enjoy beautiful and impressive flowers for several months.

Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Iridaceae
Genus Gladiolus
Common names Gladiolus, Sword-Lily
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Gladiolus ‘Tricolore’ (Sword Lily)
Gladiolus ‘Charming Lady’ (Sword Lily)
Gladiolus ‘Her Majesty’ (Sword Lily)
Gladiolus dalenii (Dragon’s Head Sword Lily)
Gladiolus ‘Vista’ (Sword Lily)
Gladiolus ‘Lumiere’ (Sword Lily)

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Gladiolus (Sword-Lily)
Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Impressive Gladiolus Flowers
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 7 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Iridaceae
Genus Gladiolus
Common names Gladiolus, Sword-Lily
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Height 2' - 3'
(60cm - 90cm)
Spread 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Gladiolus (Sword Lily)
Not sure which Gladiolus (Sword Lily) to pick?
Compare Now

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