Gladiolus italicus

Field gladiolus                                                                                                  Γλαδιόλα

Iridaceae - the Iris Family                                                                             Monocot.


Thought to be the hyacinth of Greek mythology, the field gladiolus, Gladiolus italicus,  creates a dramatic splash of magenta across the fields in springtime. It grows mainly on agricultural land.

There are 6 to 10 flowers arranged in a spikes along one side of the gracefully curved stems, each in the axil of a narrow bract. The lower petals have white markings which are said to represent ancient Greek letters. There are 3 stamens and 3 stigmas attached to a single style.

Each plant has 3 or 4 grey-green leaves which are long and slightly ribbed with a pointed tip.

It is very similar to the other species of gladiolus found on Skopelos, G. illyricus, but more robust.


Gladiolus italicus showing the 3 stamens and 3 stigmas

3-4cm 40-75cm,
                                                  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Iris germanicus
Purple irisIris_germanica.html

The Ancient Myth of Hyacinthus.

The Spartan Prince, Hyacinthus  is said to have been the first human to have been loved by another man, the poet, Thamyris. But Thamyris was not the only one, the god Apollo and the West Wind had also fallen in love with the beautiful youth and Apollo spent time with him, teaching him how to hurl a discus. The West Wind became insanely jealous and caught  the discus in midair and dashed it against Hyacinthus's head, killing him. His blood was spattered across the field and a flower sprang up where each drop had landed. The first letter of his name were written on the petals of the flowers.

Gladiolus illyricus
Wild gladiolusGladiolus_illyricus.htmlGladiolus_illyricus.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0