Gladiolus communis subsp byzantinus or Sword lily is really unlike many of the more gardenesque varieties usually associated with the genus. A striking magenta, in 'meadowy' situations it makes a real impact and looks quite at home.
I've just planted a hundred and twenty bulbs of this 'hardy' gladioli in an area of the field where I let the grass grow long.
I'm really unsure as to how rustic a plant this is. For example, reading the gladiolus section of a well known UK bulb supplier, it's described as "one of the most enduring and easily grown plants" whilst others suggest lifting the corms except in the mildest areas and yet I've found further information from the States stating they're hardy to zone 6! I reckon Dahlias are hardy to zone 6 if you bury the tubers deep enough. Surely that's the key. If they freeze, they thaw to mush.
Time to plant is another conflicting one. Again, a well respected UK bulb supplier lists the corms under Autumn bulbs to flower in the Spring, however another refuses to despatch until late February for early Spring planting. Who knows?
Well, the reality is they're all planted, complete as of today, October one.
Making the holes was much easier with the pointed end of a pick axe! It's difficult getting through the grass 'mat' with a trowel. Ido SO hope they come up next May.
Top photograph courtesy of Wikimedia commons.