This is a hybrid from the South African Gladiolus papilio, and it makes a fabulous hardy garden plant. In mid to late Summer it bears large rich ruby-red flowers with hooded tops, on stems up to 3ft (1m) high. For me it has become a firm garden favourite as it soon clumps up and flowers so reliably. It is best positioned in sun and well-drained soil. The leaves are sword shaped and a dusky blue-green.