Brit. Fl. Gard. 2: t.155 (1827)
Establishment means:Sparingly established
Corm with outer layers papery to fibrous. Stems usually unbranched, with 2–3 sheathing leaves. Basal leaves 1–2, linear to ensiform, c. 1.2 cm wide, flat, with several prominent veins. Inflorescence with flowers secund, 5–10-flowered. Flowers funnel-shaped, white to purplish red or pale pink violet. Perianth tube 2.0–3.5 cm long, widened at mouth, curved; lobes with margins and apex flat, spreading, unequal; adaxial lobe hood-shaped; abaxial 3 lobes smaller, with large pale marks, which are often dark-edged. Anthers c. 10 mm long. Style branches exceeding anthers.
Currently known from only two collections in Victoria, near Gisborne and Winchelsea.
A horticultural hybrid between Gladiolus cardinalis Curtis and G. tristis, first raised in England in 1823. It closely resembles the paternal parent G. cardinalis. It has long been a popular horticultural plant due to the large colourful flowers. There are many colour forms in cultivation.