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Gladiolus: Lost Forever?

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Though preservation is our mission, bulbs drop out of our catalog every year.

Sometimes it’s because the harvest was too small. Sometimes it’s because they’re widely available elsewhere and don’t need our help. And sometimes it’s because we’ve lost our only known source due to severe weather (cold, drought, etc.), health problems (a debilitating stroke), or economic woes (small farmers are always at risk).

The good news is that, in time, we’re often able to return these bulbs to our catalog. So here’s a list of many we’ve offered in the past. For an alert the moment they’re available again, subscribe to our free email newsletter. Or to find a similar bulb, try our easy Advanced Bulb Search.


Fall-planted:     Crocus       Daffodils       Hyacinths       Lilies       Peonies       Tulips       Diverse

Spring-planted:     Cannas       Dahlias       Daylilies       Gladiolus       Iris       Diverse


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Gladiolus x colvillei ALBUS, 1872

This dainty, white, wildflowery gem is one of the oldest garden glads, a true Victorian survivor. Its lower petals are marked with yellow, its anthers are blue, and it has a slight evening fragrance! It’s a sport of the original, red G. x colvillei which was bred in 1823 from two African species, the fragrant G. tristris and the relatively hardy G. cardinalis. 18” very early blooming. Last offered web-only in spring 2004. We may offer it again someday, but the colvillei glads can be a challenge to grow.


ALLEGRO, 1965

Please don’t mistake ‘Allegro’ for an ordinary red glad. Its color is a wonderfully deep ruby with smoky undertones and so intense it almost seems to be throbbing. Its Italian name means “quick, spirited, lively,” and this show-stopper definitely is. 4’, from Maine. Last offered in 2016. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


APRICOT LUSTER, 1969

Soft and luminous, this enchanting, full-sized glad has won bushels of blue ribbons. It’s a delicious blend of apricot, coral, honey, buff, and gold, delicately ruffled, and we never seem to have enough. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BEUNA WINCHESTER, 1920s?

What a find! From old country gardens in the Great Smoky Mountains comes this graceful, small-flowered, clump-forming, rosy-pink, pass-along glad. We’ve named it in honor of Beuna Winchester (say BYOON-uh), ambassador of old-time mountain culture, who’s been nurturing it ever since it grew in her mother’s garden 70 or more years ago. We hope you’ll join us in preserving it! Last offered in spring 2004. Although we lost our entire stock, we’re still hopeful that we’ll be able to offer it again someday.


BIBI, 1954Rarest

Exotically patterned in a style that dates back to Victorian days, this small-flowered, vibrant pink glad is randomly flecked with rose, recalling batiked sarongs, the psychedelic 1960s, and – to quote the imaginative young son of one of our customers – “pink cheetahs.” 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We plan to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLUEBIRD, 1968Rarest

As small as ‘Atom’ and surprisingly close to blue, this cheery little glad always reminds us of a nest full of hungry baby birds. Winner of the gladiolus world’s highest honor, the All-America award, it blooms with vigor all across the country. Very limited supply, Small-flowered, 3 feet, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLUE SMOKE, 1957

Don’t be surprised if this smoldering beauty leaves you and your garden visitors babbling! A half-century after it was introduced, its exotic coloring is still very unusual. From a glowing heart of apricot and bronze its petals shade into a smoky, lavender-gray that’s almost beyond words — and ravishingly beautiful. Very limited supply, 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BOONE, 1920s?

Don’t like glads? We dare you to try wee, wildflowery ‘Boone’. Collected at an abandoned homestead in the Appalachians near Boone, NC, it has graceful, pint-sized, primulinus blooms of soft apricot, and it’s remarkably hardy – through zone 6 at least, and many of our zone-5 customers tell us it’s perennial for them, too. Like ‘Carolina Primrose’, it’s an early form of the “Maid of the Mist” glad (G. primulinus, now G. dalenii, from Victoria Falls to the US in 1908), and awesome. (See it on the cover of Fine Gardening!) 3 feet, zones 6a(5?)-9b(8a-11bWC), from Michigan. Last offered spring of 2018. We are increasing stock and we hope to offer it again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CARIBBEAN, 1957Rarest

If you look with your imagination, it’s easy to see the blue skies and sandy beaches of the Caribbean in this well-named little glad. It’s not really blue, of course, but a lovely soft lavender highlighted with thumbprints of purple. Small-flowered, 3 feet tall, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CAROLINA PRIMROSE, 1908

This small, graceful glad stunned us by surviving 22° below zero one winter here. Reliably perennial in zones 6a-9b(11aWC) – and in much of zone 5, our customers tell us – it multiplies year after year without care, and grows true from seed. Collected at an old homesite in NC, it’s an early form of the “Maid of the Mist” glad (G. primulinus, now lumped into G. dalenii, first offered in the US by Thorburn in 1908), a kissing cousin of the equally wonderful ‘Boone’.
3 feet, from Michigan. Last offered spring of 2018. We are increasing stock and we hope to offer it again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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