Did you know that each month of the year has its own specific flower, or oftentimes more than one? Follow along as we do a series on these ‘birth month flowers’ and you’ll be sure to learn something new and exciting! In August the traditional birth flowers are the gladiolus and the poppy.

As August drifts down upon us here in Ozarkland, we’re reminded that summer doesn’t last forever. 

And as this hot, humid, and muggy season gives us it’s final show, a lot of people are asking:

What types of flowers does a person gift in the month of August?

August is an interesting month for flowers. 

The spring flowers are done blooming. 

Even the summer flowers are winding down. 

But fear not—because there are some amazing flower options that are still totally viable, even in August in the Ozarks. 

Today, you’re going to learn about the Gladiolus and Poppy flowers. 

Not only are these flowers awesome gift options in the month of August, but they’re also very beautiful and historic plants with deep and profound symbolism attached to them. 

So let’s dive in and talk about them. 

What do Gladiolus and Poppy Flowers Mean?

Gladiolus, also known as the “sword lily,” is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the iris family. Known for its striking, tall spikes of funnel-shaped flowers, it comes in various bright colors, including red, pink, yellow, and white. Gladiolus is popular in bouquets and garden arrangements, and is known for symbolizing ideals such as strength and moral integrity.

They also carry strong associations with ideals like faithfulness and remembrance. They’re also the traditional 40th anniversary flower, and the official birth flower for the month of August. 

The poppy is a flowering plant known for its vibrant red, orange, or pink petals and dark center. Often associated with ideals such as remembrance and sleep, poppies grow in both wild and cultivated varieties. The seeds are used in cooking, while some species produce opium, a substance utilized in medicine and other applications.

Poppies also symbolize ideals like consolation and death

In fact, since ancient times, they’ve been placed on tombstones as a symbol of eternal rest. 

The History of Gladiolus and Poppy Flowers

Originating in South Africa, gladiolus flowers were transported to Europe in the 18th century and hybridized by 1823. 

They gained popularity in America by the early 20th century, leading to the formation of a gladiolus society

Since then, some species have been found to be poisonous—despite the fact that they’ve always been used medicinally. 

Now cultivated in over 250 varieties, gladioli are celebrated mainly for their decorative appeal.

The poppy flower has been recognized by humans since ancient times and is native to regions from California to China. 

Its earliest known use was in Sumer, around 3,400 B.C.E., where it was cultivated for medicinal and recreational purposes. 

The demand spread to neighboring civilizations, leading to its trade on the Silk Road. The poppy’s influence reached a peak during the early 1800s with the Opium Wars, a trading dispute between Great Britain and China that led to naval conflicts. 

In modern history, the red poppy became a symbol of remembrance after World War I, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field,” and continues to be worn to honor fallen soldiers.

Why Gladiolus and Poppy Flowers Make Amazing Gifts

Gladiolus and poppy flowers make amazing gifts in the month of August for several reasons. 

Gladiolus, being the birth flower for August, symbolizes strength and integrity, adding a personal touch for August birthdays. 

Poppies, with their vibrant red and orange hues, mirror the warmth and energy of summer, perfectly capturing the spirit of the season. 

Both flowers are in full bloom during this month, ensuring fresh, beautiful bouquets that can brighten any occasion. 

Their unique shapes and colors provide a visual feast, making them standout gifts for celebrations or simply as a thoughtful gesture.

Tips For Keeping Your Gladiolus and Poppy Flowers Fresh After Cutting

  1. Cut in the Morning: Harvest gladiolus and poppy flowers in the early morning when they are most hydrated.
  2. Use Sharp Tools: Use a sharp, clean knife to cut the stems at an angle, promoting better water uptake.
  3. Immediate Watering: Place the cut flowers in water immediately to prevent air from entering the stems, which can cause wilting.
  4. Water Quality: Use lukewarm water and change it every 1-2 days to keep the flowers fresh, adding a flower preservative if available.
  5. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Position the vase away from direct sunlight and drafts, as these can dry out the flowers quickly.
  6. Regular Maintenance: Remove any fading flowers or leaves to encourage the remaining blooms to thrive.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty of your gladiolus and poppy flowers for a longer period, maintaining their vibrancy and freshness.


With August upon us, what better way is there to celebrate than with bright gladiolus and poppy flowers? 

They’re more than just a pretty face; they’ve got history and meaning too! 

If you’re scratching your head about what to get for that special someone, come on down to Linda’s Flowers

We’ll help you pick out the perfect bouquet, no fuss, no stress. 

Whether it’s a birthday, a wedding, or just because—we’ve got your back. 

See you at Linda’s!