Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sword Lily, Hardy Gladiolus, Jacob's Ladder
Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Gladiolus (GLAD-ee-oh-lus) (Info)
Species: communis subsp. byzantinus

Synonym:Gladiolus byzantinus

» View all varieties of Gladiolus

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

38 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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6 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive jardinomane On May 22, 2011, jardinomane from Gatineau
Canada wrote:

I live near Ottawa, in Canada (about USDA zone 4, I believe...) and I planted about 20 of those in a clump last fall. I planted them on the deep side, fearing they would get zapped by our really cold winters but I did not mulch. Guess what? They where among the most eager to poke through the still partially frozen ground. I am so looking forward to see them bloom! So, they are probably hardier than thought, given very well draining soil and a deeper planting.

Positive nutsaboutnature On May 18, 2010, nutsaboutnature from Algonquin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is my first year with Gladiolus Byzantinus. I ordered them from Brent & Becky's & they were planted in October 2009.

I didn't even realize they were about to flower until a few popped open. The buds don't look like typical flower buds. They kind of remind me of "Wheat".

They're very, very pretty, kind of delicate-looking yet don't need to be staked. I've read that the flower colors can vary. Mine are a Deep Fuchsia & now that the first flowers have started blooming, the rest are opening quickly.

I love that they're not overpowering yet definitely hold their own in the garden. I will definitely be buying more.

Neutral Lily_love On Jan 3, 2009, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I received a handful of these byzantine glads. from a friend. I potted them up, they stayed dormant all through the growing season. I thought the tubers were gone, but recently I discovered they have sprouted indoor sharing a pot with my tender cannas. I'll add pix once these mature & flower this coming growing season.

Positive janecarol2 On Nov 25, 2008, janecarol2 from Fort Jennings, OH wrote:

Bloom color can vary from deep purple red to dark hot pink. In my Ohio zone 5 garden it blooms late May/early June with yarrow and columbine. Soil can be average to dry. Beautiful.

Positive vossner On Apr 2, 2007, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Dainty and cheerful, does not need staking. Very special for me as received from a special friend.

Positive PurplePansies On May 29, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Thhis plant as stated is "daintier" and more delicate than regular gladiolus..... the blossoms are smaller.... but still very showy..... the plants as a whole also look much better poking out of the ground...... they don't jut out at such strange (rigid) angles as regular gladiola.... looks much more "graceful" in the garden..... Very easy to grow.... overwintered perfectly without any real extra protection (mulch etc.) and no bulbs rotted.... planted a few and I believe every single one came up and has a flower on it.... I even think the buds before they open are pretty (resemble a green chasmanthe or some kind of grain)..... pretty strappy foliage..... bloomed for me in May/June :)
A real favorite! :)

Positive Dan_Brown On May 23, 2004, Dan_Brown from Elm Grove, LA wrote:

I find this heirloom plant very fulfilling and very common around NW Louisiana where I reside. I acquired my corms from old abandoned home sites and they have multiplied and bloomed faithfully every year without fail. After the blooms fade the bloom stalks are a tiny bit obvious, and the succession of opening allows for the lower ones to be dead before the top ones open, but the loveliness of the blossoms more than makes up for this distraction.
Blessed, Dan Brown, Elm Grove, LA

Neutral Terry On Aug 16, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A more dainty plant than the modern cultivars, G. byzantinus is a very old plant that works well in cottage gardens. Its delicate blooms typically don't require staking.

Planted deeply (3-5") these bulbs can stay in the ground year-round in zones 5 and warmer. Give the bulbs well-drained soil to avoid rot, although they will tolerate a heavy soil as long as they aren't subjected to standing water.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Ozone, Arkansas
Paris, Arkansas
Idyllwild, California
Gainesville, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Moreland, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Winnetka, Illinois
Olathe, Kansas
Carlisle, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bordelonville, Louisiana
Doyline, Louisiana
Elm Grove, Louisiana
Springfield, Massachusetts
Florence, Mississippi
Panama, New York
Aulander, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Burleson, Texas
Colmesneil, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fate, Texas
Harker Heights, Texas
Houston, Texas
Iredell, Texas
Kurten, Texas
Nevada, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Kinnear, Wyoming

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