festival of spring #10

A flower that is quite common around Cornwall and  the Isles of Scilly is the Gladiolus communis subsp. Byzantium better known as ‘Whistling Jack’ or the ‘Sword lily’. It is a relic of the Scilly bulb fields and is extensively naturalised where there is little frost. It flowers from May to July.

Whistling Jack by the sea

You can buy bulbs for the garden but beware you might not actually get the true bulb. Perfect for bridging the gap between the last of the spring bulbs and the first of the summer perennials it bears spikes of funnel-shaped flowers in the most intense magenta pink.

This is my last photo for  Dawn’s Festival of Spring which was in celebration of this season.


  1. I bought a large number of these glads from the wonderful Eurobulbs last year, not having come across them before. They’ve flowered beautifully and as you say they are a fabulous gap filler, elegant yet with a striking pop of colour. Mine are not such a rich colour though. I really hope mine bulk up and spread around, drifts of them would be stunning!

  2. beetleypete says:

    That’s a nice flower. I went to The Scilly Isles once, by helicopter from Penzance. It rained heavily all day, and was one of the most miserable days I ever spent on a holiday. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, dear 😲

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