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Growing Peacock Orchids

Growing Peacock Orchids

Family: Iridaceae
Genus: Gladiolus

Alternate names: Previously Acidanthera bicolor or Acidanthera murielae, Gladiolus murielae, Abyssinian Sword Lily, Abyssinian Star, Fragrant Gladiolus

Origin: East Africa

Flowering Season: Summer.

Plant Size: 60cm H x 20- 30cm W (clump).

Peacock Orchids, or Gladiolus callianthus, feature showy summer blooms with nodding, white flowers and a maroon center. Foliage of growing peacock orchids is an attractive, sword-like shape, colored green with hints of red near the base.

Growing peacock orchids is not as hard as the name suggests, they are, easy to grow and produce one of the most beautiful flowers in a summer garden.


Prefers a well drained, friable soil. Natural rainfall should suffice. Supplement water during dry spells.


Dig ground over with animal compost or a commercial product before planting.

Lifting and storage:

Can be either left in the ground to form abundant clumps, or be lifted and stored late autumn in a dry, airy place until replanting in winter or spring. All lifted corms must be dried quickly to avoid soft rot.




Peacock Orchids have a delightful fragrance. They make ideal cut flowers. The small bulblets that form around the main corm, if separated and replanted, will produce lovely flowers in their first season.