Meaning & Symbolism of Gladiolus

Named for the shape of their leaves, gladioli – from the Latin word "gladius," meaning sword – have a history than spans from Africa to the Mediterranean. Symbolizing strength and moral integrity, gladioli also represent infatuation, with a bouquet conveying to a recipient that they pierce the giver's heart with passion. Striking and colorful with towering stems, this August birth flower and 40th wedding anniversary flower evoke the drama of Roman gladiators.

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Gladiolus