This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Gladiolus Cardinalis. Superb Gladiolus; or, Corn-Flag.
Corolla 6-partita, irregularis, inaequalis, Stigmata 3.
GLADIOLUS cardinalis corollae erectae limbo campanulato, floribus secundis, scapo multifloro, foliis ensiformibus multinerviis.
This new species of Gladiolus, of whose magnificence our figure can exhibit but an imperfect idea, was introduced into this country from Holland, a few years since, by Mr. Graffer, at present Gardener to the King of Naples; and first flowered with Messrs. Lewis and Mackie, Nurserymen, at Kingsland; a very strong plant of it flowered also this summer at Messrs. Grimwoods and Co. which divided at top into three branches, from one of which our figure was drawn.
It obviously differs from the other more tender plants of this genus, in the colour of its flowers, which are of a fine scarlet, with large white somewhat rhomboidal spots, on several of the lowermost divisions of the Corolla; strong plants will throw up a stem three or four feet high.
It is most probably a native of the Cape, flowers with us in July and August, and is increased by offsets from the bulbs; must be treated like the Ixias and other similar Cape plants.