The August Birth Flowers are Gladiolus and Poppy

The birth flowers for August are the showy gladiolus and the striking poppy which both bloom during the month of August.

August Birth Flower: Gladiolus

The primary birthday flower for August is the Gladiolus that flowers from mid summer to late autumn (Northern Hemisphere).

The Gladiolus group of plants belong to the Iris family and originate from tropical and southern Africa.

The wild flowers are actually quite small and the familiar large, showy spikes of gladioli are in fact cultivated varieties.

The most common flower colors range from pink to reddish or light purple with white markings.

The language of flowers introduced in Victorian times says that Gladiolus stands for sincerity and strength of character.

The Latin origin of the word Gladiolus means "small sword" referring to the pointed sword-like leaves.

The Gladiolus is the flower to celebrate a 40th wedding anniversary.

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August Birth Flower: Poppy

The second August flower, the Poppy, is a familiar, beautiful large flower that occurs in many colors, originating in Asia and Europe.

The Red Poppy has become symbolic to remember fallen soldiers and the Opium Poppy is associated with sleep, peace and death in many legends.

The Victorian language of flowers says that Poppies represent eternal sleep, oblivion and imagination.

Poppies belong to the genus Papaver which comes from the Latin pappa ("milk") referring to the plant's milky latex.

The Red Poppy (or Corn Poppy) is the national flower for Belgium, Poland and also Albania, matching the red and black colors of their flag. The Blue Poppy is the national flower of Bhutan where it grows wild on the slopes of Tibet. The California Poppy is the USA state flower for California.

Birth flower reference: Floriography Today by S. Theresa Dietz

Here is an interesting article that expands on the meanings and properties of the Gladiolus flower.

Flowers of August - The Dramatic Gladiolus


If you're looking for a dramatic, meaningful flower to include in your garden this year, or to send to a loved one, the Gladiolus is an exotic choice. August's birth flower was named for its sword-shaped leaves; the name Gladiolus, is Latin for "sword". This beautifully simple flower was also called "xiphim" from the Ancient Greek word xiphos - meaning sword.

Meanings and Colors

Flowers come in all shapes and sizes and the Gladiolus is a fine example of this. It has large thick stems, usually with 6-8 tightly packed blossoms on one side. They come in a variety of colors - some that are native to the species and some that have been cultivated over the years - pink, yellow, red, purple, white and orange.

Representing strength of character and gracefulness, this blossom also represents the 40th Wedding Anniversary. Said to have had a secret meaning in the Victorian era, this flower was given to symbolize "love at first sight" and secret passion.

Parts of the Gladiolus are poisonous if ingested; nevertheless, this extremely fragrant member of the Iris family was still used for medicinal purposes once upon a time. The English used the corms to remove thorns and splinters, while some mixed powdered corms with goat's milk to relieve colic.

Birthday Card with August Flowers
August Flower Birthday Card by Rugosa and Pine

August Birth Flower Cards

August Birth Flower Coffee Cup
Personalized August Birth Flower Coffee Cup from Coastal Lab

August Birth Flower Gifts

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Care and Cultivation

If you are a gardener looking cultivate flowers that evoke a gladiator-esque or old Victorian feel for your garden, the imposing Gladiolus is a wonderful choice. They are generally semi-hardy (there are some hardy varieties) and should be grown in temperate climates - full sun if possible.

In the fall, after the blooming season is over, lift the corms (bulbs) from the soil, store inside and replant in the spring. Some of the hardier varieties can be left in the soil. When you are ready to plant in the spring, plant the corms 4-6 inches apart in full sun - partial shade, in an area with good drainage.

The Gladiolus is a must for unique flower designs and looks beautiful as a cut flower. It should be tended to daily with fresh water and the removal of wilted blossoms.Enjoy this unique flower in your garden or on your kitchen table; it is sure to evoke passion and strength with whoever comes across it.

Lilly Gordon is freelance web publisher and author. She writes on a variety of topics and is a fan of gardening and cultivating flowers in Edmonton, where she currently resides.

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