Exotic Hybrid Double-Flowering Varieties Of Glads

By: Thomas Fryd..

This spring many ardent gladiolus fans will be turning increasingly to the exotic hybrid double-flowering varieties. These unusual glads bring fresh sparkle, distinctive quality, and an extra late-summer beauty to their gardens.
When these new flowers were placed before the public, they reacted cautiously, inquired solicitously, and purchased confidently from the varieties then available. As the summer progressed, interesting reports began to come in from across the country. Never before such tremendous results with gladiolus, my friends dont really believe they're glads," what are the newest varieties?"
Requests for corms have come from as far away as India and Australia. Hobby-gardeners found the bulbs suitable for all sorts of soil and climatic conditions. With proper mulching and watering they stood up well even during long dry spells. With the usual dusting procedure and precautions against thrips and fusarium disease they remained healthy and strong.
Some novice glad fans, probably not thoroughly aware of the race of gladiolus they were growing, mistook seedling bloom to be freaks." Arrangements using double glads found their way into flower shows. The unique floret form and appealing beauty drew attention from judges and the public.
A good share of the early background hybridization for these double-flowering gladiolus was done by the late Arthur C. Koerner of Minnesota. He and other glad enthusiasts had developed seeds and bulblets producing flowers that strayed from the straight and narrow path of the standard varieties making them perfect for gladiolus cut flower arrangements.
The blooms had petals that were ruffled, lacy or sometimes almost crumpled or ragged. The petals were numerous, far more than the usual six.
Some of the present examples offer as many as 30 petals per floret. Careful consideration and expert handling is given to the hybridization of these glads pollination from one variety to another is minutely planned to obtain the desired color, shape, texture, and bud form.
Each seedling is closely observed to determine the next possible step. Only corms producing choice blooms are allowed to remain in the test plots, inferior quality goes on the compost heap. E. H. Doerr of New Ulm, Minnesota, a hybridizer responsible for development of six popular varieties of double flowering glads, looked forward to many exciting future varieties.
Commercial growers and professional floral designers are confident that these new varieties will make a place for themselves along side the standard varieties.

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