Gladiolus is a genus of perennial cormous flowering plants in the iris family. It is sometimes called the 'sword lily', but is usually called by its generic name. The genus occurs in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, South Africa, and tropical Africa.
The genus Gladiolus contains about 300 species. Gladiolus is a classic perennial known for its tall flower spikes and large, colorful blooms. A great cutting flower, gladioli look spectacular in summer bouquets. Commonly called “glads,” these lovely flowering plants are available in a multitude of colors and typically reach between 2 and 5 feet in height. Their blooms also range in size—from “miniature” flowers less than 3 inches in diameter, to “giant” flowers greater than 5 inches across. The taller varieties, which need to be staked, are often placed in the back of a garden to nicely complement shorter plants.