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Definition of GLADIOLUS
or pluralgladiolusalsoglad·i·o·lus·es: any of a genus (Gladiolus) of chiefly African perennial plants of the iris family with erect sword-shaped leaves and spikes of brilliantly colored irregular flowers arising from corms
: the large middle portion of the sternum lying between the upper manubrium and the lower xiphoid process—called also mesosternum
Illustration of GLADIOLUS
Any of about 300 species of flowering plants of the genus Gladiolus, in the iris family, native to Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean and widely cultivated for cut flowers. The flowering spike, which springs from a corm, reaches 2–3 ft (60–90 cm) in height and has many funnel-shaped flowers, all clustered on one side of the stem. There are six petal-like floral parts and sparse, swordlike leaves. Cultivated gladioli, which come in all colours, have been developed mostly from southern and eastern African species.