Darya from Flowwow

Gladiolus Flower Meanings and Colour Symbolism

10 April 72
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Gladiolus is a perfect example of getting more for less: each towering stem carries up to 7 charming flowers with a slight fruity scent. The focus of attention from ancient times to modern-day events, this blossom is closely tied to several traditions and surrounded by deep symbolism. So, let’s discover more about the connotations attributed to this stunning bloom and learn which colours will suit some distinct celebrations.

What is the meaning of the gladiolus flower?

This specimen gets its name from the word "gladius”, originally Latin, which means “sword”. It’s exceptionally fitting, given its tall, sword-shaped leaves and a long stem. As a result, this flower became closely associated with strength, heroism, and a strong character.

Gladiolus: Spiritual Meaning

In spiritual contexts, it’s often associated with loyalty and moral integrity. Moreover, it’s considered a fitting aid for spiritual growth and transformation during times of confusion and struggle.

Gladioli: The Meaning in Culture

Depending on the specific culture, the meaning of gladiolus might be interpreted in different ways. In some societies, it denotes honour, making it a common choice for funerals and memorials. In others, it symbolises victory, serving as a popular gift for those who accomplished a significant milestone in their lives.

The Gladiolus Flower in History

The Gladiolus Flower in History

Gladiolus in Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks regarded this blossom as both a cultural and spiritual symbol connecting the physical and the sacred. Typically, athletes were gifted these blooms at the end of a battle as a sign of marvellous strength, courage, and battle mastery. Additionally, gladioli were often devoted to the gods, specifically to Apollo.

Gladiolus in Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, a similar tradition existed, linking the gladiolus to gladiators who competed at the arenas. Their bravery and determination required commemoration – the reason why these beautiful flowers were thrown down onto the arena for the victors.

Gladiolus in Christianity

When it comes to Christianity, this bloom has a slightly different symbolism, taking on a more sophisticated connotation. The gladiolus was regarded as a sword of righteousness and divine truth, enhancing one’s devotion and bringing them closer to divineness. Because of this, gladioli can be witnessed in religious creations portraying martyrs.

Gladiolus Meanings By Colour

Purple Gladiolus Meaning

Purple Gladiolus

Purple gladioli speak of nobility, admiration and the giver’s respect for someone's recent accomplishments. A bouquet of these flowers is ideal for graduations, significant achievements, and even newborn celebrations to acknowledge hard work.

White Gladiolus Meaning

White Gladiolus

White gladioli denote purity and innocence, a flawless choice for weddings. Presenting an arrangement with these pristine blooms to a newlywed couple is an excellent token of their unity in marriage.

Yellow Gladiolus Meaning

Yellow Gladiolus

Yellow gladioli symbolise joy and happiness from being one’s close friend. They are a classic gift for brightening someone's day or celebrating a special friendship. Consider surprising a trusted friend on their birthday with these charming flowers; it will help demonstrate your wishes in the most heart-warming way.

Red Gladiolus Meaning

Red Gladiolus

Red gladioli traditionally signify love and romance. As a harmonious declaration of faithfulness, they are a popular choice of couples for anniversaries and other celebrations. For example, it is perfectly fitting to present them on Valentine's Day to express devotion.

Blue Gladiolus Flower Meaning

Blue Gladiolus

Blue gladioli represent calmness, serenity, and tranquillity. Their meaning is intricately tied to peace and relaxation; they can even help settle one’s anxiety in a challenging situation. If your friend or loved one is experiencing difficulties in life, this bouquet might provide comfort.

Pink Gladiolus Flower Meaning

Pink Gladiolus

Pink gladioli stand for femininity and grace. As a token of appreciation or affection towards someone, they are frequently chosen for Mother's Day, helping denote gratitude for one’s unconditional love and support or express the gentleness of your emotions.

When to Give Gladioli Flowers

Gladioli in a bouquet
  1. Weddings: To celebrate this milestone, consider a bouquet of white gladioli symbolising purity and unity, paired with roses for infatuation and lilies for devotion.
  2. Graduations: To celebrate academic achievements, opt for purple gladioli combined with daisies for generosity.
  3. Funerals: To pay tribute to a loved one, consider red gladioli, signifying love, combined with white roses for remembrance and peace.

How to Make Gladiolus Last a Long Time

In the right conditions, this flower can thrive for up to a week or even longer. To keep your arrangement fresh, always trim the stems at a 45-degree angle as soon as you bring them home, and add flower foods to the vase. You can also try homemade mixes, which are easy to do from scratch. Don’t forget to change the water every 2-3 days and find a location shielded from direct sunlight and drafts.

It’s evident that gladiolus is not just a simple flower; it embodies beautiful meanings that instil awe and admiration. Whether you need a gift for a recent graduate or plan to congratulate a newlywed couple, this flower will be a versatile and timeless option.


What does the gladiolus flower tattoo mean?

A gladiolus tattoo can exemplify strength, resilience, and sincerity, the qualities associated with this majestic bloom.

What does the gladiolus flower mean when someone dies?

When used in funerals or memorials, it symbolises remembrance, honour, and the eternal bond between those who passed away and those left behind.

Why are gladioli so important?

Gladioli are expressive emblems of resilience, integrity, and highly positive cultural and spiritual symbols.

What does gladiolus attract?

Gladioli attract pollinators, especially bees and butterflies, and can help improve a garden’s biodiversity.

Is the gladiolus queen of flowers?

While it's not traditionally known as the "queen of flowers," it might as well be: its rich symbolism certainly makes it a regal addition when it comes to presents.

Are gladioli good luck?

In some traditions, they are believed to attract good fortune to one’s home.

Is the gladiolus the birth flower?

Yes, it is associated with August birthdays and the zodiac sign Leo.

What are gladiolus flowers called?

Another name for them is “sword lilies”, coming from their distinctly sharp appearance and long stems.

What are some interesting facts about gladiolus?

  • It is a part of the iris family, originally found in South Africa.
  • It comes in 260–300 species and more than 30,000 different variations
  • It can grow up to 6 feet tall and produce multiple stems from just one bulb

What is another name for gladiolus?

Another name for this flower is "sword lily," highlighting its resemblance to a weapon and its particularly graceful, lily-like flower shapes.
Darya from Flowwow