Gladiolus x Colvillei Blushing Bride

Gladiolus x Colvillei “Blushing Bride” – Sword Lily

Spikes of brilliant white flowers with exquisite carmine markings rise above sword shaped leaves in spring.


This is a small Gladiolus, and the plant grows to a little over ½M, with a more lax form than many Gladioli. The leaves are sword shaped – “gladiolus is latin for little sword. In the wild the parents would be late summer / autumn flowering plants but in Karin’s garden it seems to flower reliably in spring.


Gladiolus x Colvillei is a hybrid of G. tristis and G. cardinalis, both of which come from the Cape Province of South Africa. The original Gladiolus × colvillei, bred by the nurseryman James Colville of Chelsea, London, was first described in 1823, and he put on sale a white form. I have been unable to find out the origins of “Blushing Bride”.

Soil / Aspect:

Gladioli are said to prefer soils that are gritty and well drained, to get the corms through the winter without rotting. However, “Blushing Bride” seems to thrive in the clay around Motueka.  It will need watering in September as the flowers develop, if Karin’s Garden does not get the normal amount of rain for that time of year. It will need plenty of sun to flower properly, and it doe not seem to mind being baked dry in summer.


This plant can suffer from aphids but they are easily controlled with Conqueror oil. This is a reliable plant and propagation can easily be achieved by teasing a few corms out of a clump when the first shoots appear. In Karin’s Garden there is no need to lift “Blushing Bride” over winter.