The Romans associated Gladiolus with the flower of the gladiators. According to the legend, one brutal Roman general won the battle with the Thracian warriors. He forced the losers to be gladiators. The cruel Emperor decided to force two friends in the duel to fight each other. Many people gathered in the Coliseum to watch this event. But the show wasn't destined to happen as two best friends plunged their swords into the ground and embraced each other.
The Emperor ordered to kill them. The legend has it that two flowers of Gladiolus, symbolizing friendship, loyalty, and generosity grew up on the spot of the battle. As a result, according to the custom, Gladiolus is a primarily male flower. This flower, therefore, is suitable for awarding your business partners or winners. But, anyway, this flower could be a good gift for a woman.
There is another legend about this flower, originated in the Republic of South Africa. For centuries, numerous wars happened in this country. One day, a small village was under the attack of the enemies. As a result, the invaders killed plenty of soldiers and captured all the rest.
But the elder managed to preserve the chief treasures of the village. Therefore, the warriors tortured his daughter. But she didnt say where her father hid the treasures. Hence, they decided to kill her in front of all the locals. But, once the sword touched her neck, the Gods turned the girl into a flower of Gladiolus. Witnessing the miracle, the invaders left the village fearing the wrath of the gods.
We witness the mentions about Gladiolus even in the works of Theophrastus, who lived in 371 BC 287 BC. He wrote about the healing properties of Gladiolus. But as for the flower itself, he claimed that Gladiolus is the useless weed. The alchemists discovered the medicinal properties of this flower just in the period between 17th and 18th centuries. However, Gladiolus came into vogue only in the end of the 18th century.
These flowers arrived from South Africa, and the Europeans praised them for their brightness and beauty. In 1902, one English engineer found Gladiolus near the Zambezi river. From now on, this flower has become popular in England as well as across the globe. In 1910, the year of Halleys Comet, a new variety of the Gladiolus came to the European markets and had great success.
In the 50s-60s of the last century, Gladiolus has been very popular in Holland. The Dutch managed to cultivate over seven thousand varieties of this flower. More than one hundred new varieties of Gladiolus registered annually. Today, this flower included in the TOP 5 of the most common flowers in the world.