Large flower
Medium Size Flower
Small size flower



The gladioli as being market now and as known by the consumer have gone through a long period of development.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth century people discovered in South Africa strikingly large gladioli growing in the wild. These were crossed and especially from the Netherlands more and more varieties were put on the market, varying in size from 50 to 170 centimeters.

Furthermore some small types were formed, Gladiolus nanus, very elegant and beautiful varieties. Another smaller variety are the so-called Butterfly gladioli, they stand out from the rest thanks to their special colour patterns.

As mentioned before, gladioli originally come from South Africa. The people there used them as food mixed with biological medicines. The name “gladiolus” comes from the Latin word “gladius” which means “sword” referring to the shape of its leaves.

The ancient Romans had their notorious gladiator fights. It was then literally a matter of death or gladioli: the conqueror was snowed under with gladioli. The expression: “death or gladioli” is still used among cycle-racers and it also became interwoven with the “Nijmeegse Vierdaagse” ( an international four-day walking event taking place in and around Nijmegen every year). During this event the St.Annastreet in Nijmegen is changed to “Via Gladiola” and those who make it to the finish successfully are received in state with colourful gladioli.

Abroad the sturdy, brightly coloured gladioli are very popular as grave flowers and as basic material for large bouquets, contrary to our country where they are not so popular. Because  most of the gladioli grown in the Netherlands are exported to foreign countries the growing process is therefore focused on the large red, yellow and white varieties. In this country the small varieties are only being marketed on a small scale.

Challa Gladiolen intends to change that and the business now concentrates on the development of small, elegant and colourful gladiola that can excellently be arranged in a vase, be used in beautiful bouquets and that can even be a welcome addition to the garden. But also in the field of the large varieties Challa Gladiolen has in the meantime obtained fine results.