Per Wikipedia: Gladiolus (from Latin, the diminutive of gladius, a sword,) is a genus of perennial cormous flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae).
It is sometimes called the sword lily or gladiola, but is usually called by its generic name (plural gladioli).
The genus occurs in Asia, Mediterranean Europe, South Africa, and tropical Africa.
The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm across, and inflorescences bearing anything from one to several flowers. The spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce are the products of centuries of hybridisation and selection.
The flower spikes are large and one-sided, with secund, bisexual flowers, each subtended by 2 leathery, green bracts. The sepals and the petals are almost identical in appearance, and are termed tepals. They are united at their base into a tube-shaped structure. The dorsal tepal is the largest, arching over the three stamens. The outer three tepals are narrower. The perianth is fu...