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. restlessjo says:

    Why Whistling Jack, I wonder? It grows wild here too- or something very like it.

    1. Heyjude says:

      All Cornish emigres are known as Cousin Jack so I imagine that has something to do with the name.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Having a nice time? 🤗💟

        1. Heyjude says:

          An unexpected adventure today! I’ll message you.

  2. What a glorious burst of colour to find appearing in the grasses.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’ve actually seen some in the lanes this year.

  3. Gorgeous color!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes, definitely an ‘in your face’ colour.

  4. bushboy says:

    I love Gladdies 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I like these wilder ones.

      1. bushboy says:

        To see them popping up in the wild would be wonderful 🙂

  5. I’ve never seen these, at least I don’t think I have. That’s a gorgeous color. Are they always that color?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes. Though the ones I bought are paler, so probably not the genuine bulbs even though they were sold as being. Still nice, but they haven’t bulked up.

  6. They are so beautiful, sometimes you can find them also in the countryside 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’ve seen some growing wild in the verges this year too.

  7. Gorgeous. Lovely series. So it must be summer now! 🤞🏻

    1. Heyjude says:

      One would like to think so!

  8. That Jack could whistling my garden anytime!!

      1. Could whistle in my garden. Sigh.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I had to look up to see the difference between your naturalized scilly and our naturalized scilla. They are both lovely, ours blue, yours pink.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, this is not a scilla, but a gladioli from the Isles of Scilly which are off the Cornish mainland.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Yes. I did learn that. I love them both.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’m not sure we have native scilla. The Peruvian (actually from Portugal) grows here and scilla luciliae from Western Turkey, both in shades of blue

        2. Elizabeth says:

          It is all over New England. I don’t know that it was originally native, but it thrives here.

  10. susurrus says:

    Whistling Jack thrives in Mississippi too, although the name is new to me. They’ve finished flowering here, but the faded stems are still decorative.

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