This September suddenly, what I assume to be a bulb or rhizome-based plant was coming out of the ground somewhere in my garden. I didn't plant it and have no idea where it came from.

Early November suddenly the flower-stem came out and I could see 3-5 flower-buds.

When it got cold early Mid-November I cut the stem and put it in vase only to see the buds opening soon and presenting nice yellow flowers.

The flowers to me look like a lily-flower with the typical stigma (the right word, the thing hosting the pollen) floating around. The leaves however are looking more from what I'm supposed to see on my irises which are long and sharp leaves.

Here are two pictures I took in a rush, so please accept my excuses for the bad quality:

I'd like to know what kind of plant this is and what to do to keep it alive or maybe muliply?


It appears to be a Gladioli variety which has presumably not been ready to flower until particularly late. These usually flower late summer, but if you've had similar weather to the UK up to mid December (very mild, positively balmy at times) then this one has grabbed its chance, although if you hadn't brought it inside, it probably wouldn't have opened up.

There's no pic of the leaves, but they are long, usually visibly ribbed on close inspection, and pointed, sometimes flipping downwards towards the top.

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  • Yes. That's it, looking for Gladioli yellow gives me tons of images showing exactly my plant. The leaves are/were as you describe. In your opinion, has it self-seeded? This is my 4th winter here and it never has been there before – Patrick B. Dec 30 '14 at 23:32
  • Well, now that I think of it, maybe last year there was a plant without flowers, just leaves... – Patrick B. Dec 30 '14 at 23:33
  • It's likely an offset bulb from a previous incarnation, if you like - maybe there were gladioli in the garden sometime in the last few years and this one has survived and got large enough to flower. Its usual to lift and store them for winter, but often, in a dryish sheltered spot, they survive. – Bamboo Dec 31 '14 at 11:18

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