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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year ending July 1, 1921
Vol. LI (1921)

Elver, Elmore T.
The gladiolus,   pp. 122-126 PDF (1.2 MB)

Page 124

Geravde, in 1597, mentions four forms of gladioli; Bradley,
in 1728, six forms, and in 1739 additions are made by Breyne.
The real classification of the gladiolus commences with Linnaeus,
in his first edition of Species of Plants, in 1753. This was
followed by Ker, who was the most prominent investigator work-
ing on the order of Iridaceae during the first thirty to forty years
of the nineteenth century. In his work, published in 1805, he
provides a list of 225 species, to which he added for a consider-
able number of years. After Ker- the development is carried
on by Dean Herbert of Manchester, who died in 1847, and Dr.
F. W.- Klatt of Hamburg, whose publications between the years
1863 and 1875 added considerable to the work.
John Gilbert Baker, in his system of Irideae (1878), classi-
fied about seven hundred species, and in his Handbook of
Irideae (1892) fully described 926 species. Later additions
were made by Mr. Baker (1896-97), dealing with the species orig-
inating in the Cape of Good Hope region.
The G. commuius, found in central Europe, and G. segetum,
from the Mediterranean region, were taken to England in the
sixteenth century and at that time were important garden plants.
The G. byzantinus, or Constantinople, was introduced prior to
G. Blandus was introduced in 1774, and G. cardinalis and. G.
Floribundus in 1789, all from Cape Colony.
Up to the time of the introduction of the last mentioned species,
little or nothing had been done in the way of the improvement
of gladiolus. However, with the introduction of these improve-
ments commenced, which have steadily advanced until we have
the beautiful and varied glads of today.
The species mentioned were well adapted for the garden,
flowered early and seeded freely. Cross fertilization being very
easily accomplished in the gladiolus new forms soon appeared.
The first efforts at hybridization were made by William Her-
bert, who, in 1818, reported his results to the Horticultural Society
of London. For more than forty years thereafter he was an
active gladioli enthusiast and hybridizer, although he gave his
name to no variety.
In the development of the modern gladiolus, the first im-
portant hybrid was provided at Colville's Nursery, Chelsea, Eng-

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