Abyssinian gladiolus (syn acidanthera or callianthus )
- Position: full sun
- Soil: moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: August to October
- Hardiness: frost tender
- Bulb Size: 6-8cm
We believe everyone should have some of these in their garden. Their spikes of nodding, funnel-shaped, highly fragrant white flowers, each with a prominent burgundy blotch at the base of their petals, seem to dance on the breeze at the ends of their slender stems from late summer onwards. An elegant plant, it is ideal for adding movement to a sunny border, and they give masses of flowers at a time of the year when little else is. Plant it in clumps throughout the beds, or pot them up (around 15 - 20 corms in a 30cm pot) and keep them on the patio next to a seating area or often-used pathway, where you will be sure to make the most of the heady scent. They are cheap as chips considering the dazzling show they put on in their first year, but treat them the same as you would a tulip and replace them every year (or two) to keep the display fresh.
- Garden care: Plant corms 10-16cm (4-6in) deep in spring, on a bed of sharp sand to aid drainage. In frost-prone areas, lift them when the leaves turn yellow-brown, dip the corms in fungicide and store in a dry, frost-free place over winter.
- CAUTION do not eat ornamental bulbs