Protected species of the month - shingled gladiolus

Venturing into summer adventures, nature can become our guide, introducing us to its treasures and wonders. One such marvel is our featured species this month - the Shingled Gladiolus (Gladiolus imbricatus L.).

Photo: T. Kebert

Observant nature enthusiasts may have already noticed the blooming of these protected gladiolus plants in the "Eglone" nature reserve in Jēkabpils district this year. Thanks to the management efforts by the Latvian State Forests, a favorable environment was created for the rare gladiolus habitat, resulting in a resurgence of numerous gladiolus findings.

Map made by Jānis Ukass

The Shingled Gladiolus is a perennial plant from the iris family, capable of reaching a height of up to 70 cm. Its flowers are beautifully adorned in various shades of violet-red. Despite their decorative allure, we strongly urge people to treat these plants with care, refraining from plucking them and avoiding any attempts to transplant these beautiful specimens into private gardens.

The Shingled Gladiolus blooms in June and July, and it can be found in moist and marshy meadows, grasslands, and occasionally in moderately moist meadows, shrubs, forest edges, and ditches along forest paths, and very rarely in drier areas.

Plant enthusiasts and philatelists may recognize this striking species, as it was honored with a Latvian postage stamp in 2021.

If you happen to come across the Shingled Gladiolus during your nature excursions, please report your observation to the Nature Conservation Agency or the website We would be delighted to receive news and photographs of sightings on our Facebook page as well.

Photo: Christer Johansson
Project sponsors and partners