The gladiolus stands out in its beauty and therefore has become one of the more popular flowers to have tattooed. There are clearly many choices for the tattoo enthusiast when looking for a floral tattoo, but we think once you get to know the gladiolus flower, you might be more willing to go in that direction.
You may look at this flower and assume because of it’s daintiness and its beauty that the gladiolus tattoo might only be for women. If you thought that then you would be mistaken because not only does the gladiolus symbolize many feminine qualities, the masculine traits are there as well.
In this post, we will talk about the symbolism and meaning behind the gladiolus tattoo. Not only will we review what this beautiful flower symbolizes but also review some of the different ways we have seen the gladiolus tattoo depicted. We hope that by the end of this post, you will have a better idea of what it means to have a gladiolus tattoo and the different ways it can be tattooed on the body.
What is a Gladiolus
Gladiolus is a member of the iris family. They have the nickname of ‘sword lily’ but it is usually called by the name we all know. The gladiolus is native to South Africa, Mediterranean Europe and Asia as well as other tropical areas of Africa.
These flowers grow from symmetrical, rounded corms that are enclosed in many layers of fibrous tunics. The stems of the gladiolus are unbranched and produced between one and nine thin, sword-shaped, longitudinal-furrowed leaves that are enclosed in a sheath. This is where they get their nickname, Sword Lily.
The gladiolus didn’t become popular in the United States until the late 19th and early 20th century. The popularity of this flower ended up spawning the American Gladiolus Society in 1910. The initial membership of the Boston-based group was 75 but has grown since. This group looked to study the gladiolus and test out varieties of the flower to look for remedies for disease.
Gladiolus Tattoo Meaning
The meaning of the gladiolus tattoo depends on who wears it. For women, the gladiolus tattoo symbolizes style and grace. Not only is the flower beautiful, but you will see women donning the gladiolus tattoo because it also represents elegance, love, tenderness and family. These traits aren’t only connected to femininity, but many women do enjoy the look of the gladiolus tattoo.
The gladiolus flower has a pointed and long unique shape. This is the reason they have also been called the sword lily. The Latin word “gladius” also means sword. When this tattoo is inked on a man represents a calmness that comes with self-confidence. It also represents integrity and strength. In ancient times, warriors wore the art of the gladiolus on their bodies.
This image was used to protect them from wounds while they entered battle. War waged was dangerous, especially in hand-to-hand combat. Any kind of good luck was welcomed when dealing with the possibility of death.
In addition to the above representations, the gladiolus is a symbol of infatuation. This is why it is also the 40th-anniversary flower. The symbol of remembrance and infatuation ring true.
The gladiolus is also the flower of August. We happen to see those born in this month donning the gladiolus tattoo from time to time. The gladiolus tattoo can represent the birthdate of a child or even your loved one.
The gladiolus tattoo is also a symbol of health and healing. These flowers have been used for medical purposes for many years now. In 16th-century Europe, the pulp of a mashed gladiolus plant was used to draw out thorns and splinters. Mixed with milk, the dried seed pods were ground up and used to treat colic.
Gladiolus Tattoo Variations
When getting the gladiolus tattoo, there are many variations and styles of the tattoo that can be had. This flower is also tattooed in many colors which represent specific traits of the people that have these tattoos. Below are a couple of variations of the gladiolus tattoo that we have seen.
Realism Gladiolus Tattoo
Good ole’ realism tattoos are tried and true. The beauty of this flower is captured by the artist and inked onto the skin for a realistic version of this unique flower. People who choose to get the gladiolus tattoo in a realistic form are fans of the beauty we see in the garden. These people choose to use their body as a canvas or a window into the garden.
Watercolor Gladiolus Tattoo
Watercolor tattoos work well with floral tattoos. Because the gladiolus comes in all colors, the watercolor version of this tattoo works perfectly. The blend of colors and the different lengths and shapes work beautifully when getting a floral tattoo. Below you will be able to see some examples but people who get the watercolor gladiolus tattoo are generally a more creative kind of person and appreciate the uniqueness of the gladiolus flower along with the unique style of watercolor.
Black and Grey Gladiolus Tattoo
Black and grey gladiolus tattoos are beautiful in their own way. The people who choose to get this style of tattoo may not want the attention that all the colors bring but still appreciate the flower itself. Black and grey tattoos are elegant and stoic. The black and grey gladiolus tattoo is a great candidate for this style of tattooing.
The point is that the flower is beautiful no matter how you decide to get it tattooed on your body. The key is to make sure you are getting this tattoo for the right reason and that you find an artist who can help put your vision to your skin.
If you are sure you want to go ahead with this tattoo, reach out to us and we can help you find an artist in your area that specializes in floral tattoos. It may not seem like it is a specific style, but many tattoo artists aren’t able to tattoo flowers as well as some others.If you have questions, reach out because we would be happy to help.