THIS little Gladiolus from the plains of Syria has been cultivated in botanic gardens for a considerable time. The earliest reference to it I can trace is in the first Hand-list of Herbaceous Plants published at Kew in 1895, wherein G. aleppicus, also of Boissier, is cited as synonymous.
It is a pretty plant of comparatively easy culture that one can recommend for the bulb-border, the rock-garden, or for pot culture in the cool house. It has the slender growth of G. Colvillei, producing arching spikes 18 inches in height that carry on an average six flowers each, and these measure 2 inches across the expanded flower.
The upper petals are the broadest, and they are somewhat hooded; in colour they are rich violet. The lower or lip petals are faintly pencilled with white or yellow on a violet ground colour. I have had the plant under cultivation for two years, but have not tested its degree of hardiness, but that it grows wild intermingled with the Turkish Corn Flag (G. byzantinus) is sufficient to prove that it will be hardy in this climate provided it is afforded a light, warm soil in which to grow. It flowers in May, but one can force it into flower as early as March by gradually raising the temperature of the house in which it is grown.
The species received the R.H.S. Award of Merit when shown by Messrs. R. Wallace & Co., on May 14 last. J. B. M.