Lindsay Bourque wrote today’s entry:
Gladiolus contains about 260 species with about 250 native to sub-Saharan Africa. The species featured today is endemic to the northwestern Cape region of South Africa, where it can be found growing on rocky sandstone slopes near Nieuwoudtville or on top of the Gifberg. Gladiolus can be commonly known in English as sword lily, but it is more often referred to simply as gladiolus. The common name sword lily is an acknowledgement of the Latin gladius (a sword) — and a diminutive sword was therefore a gladiolus. Consequently, the gladiolus has become a symbol for “strength of character” by its close relationship to “gladiator”. Gladiolus watermeyeri is described as one of the most fragrant species of the genus (in South Africa, it is known as “sweet kalkoentjie“).