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Gladiolus

Gladiolus

Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword) is a genus of perennial bulbous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae). It is sometimes called the 'Sword lily', but usually by its generic name (plural gladioli). The genus is distributed in Mediterranean Europe, Asia, Tropical Africa and South Africa. The center of diversity of the genus is located in the Cape Floristic Region, where most species were discovered. The genera Oenostachys, Homoglossum, Anomalesia and Acidanthera, traditionally considered independent entities, currently are included in Gladiolus. The genus Gladiolus contains about 260 species, of which 250 are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. About 10 species are native to Eurasia. Their stems are generally unbranched, producing 1 to 9 narrow, sword-shaped, longitudinal grooved leaves, enclosed in a sheath...

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