Plants 50-100 cm. Corms tunicate, ca. 20 mm diam.; tunic fibrous. Stems usually simple. Leaves 3-5, ± reaching base of spike; blade plane, lanceolate, sometimes narrowly so, 8-22 mm wide. Spikes 6-16-flowered; spathes unequal, outer 30-40(-50) mm, inner 1/2-2/3 outer. Flowers unscented, weakly distichous; perianth tube obliquely funnel-shaped, 10-12 mm; tepals pink to light purple with narrow median white streak on outer 3 tepals, unequal, dorsal tepal 45-50 × ca. 16 mm, inner lateral tepals ca. 30 × 8 mm, outer 3 tepals connate for ca. 5 mm, outer lateral tepals ca. 25 mm, outer median tepal ca. 20 mm; filaments ca. 12 mm; anthers ca. 15 mm; style branching opposite level of anther apices; branches ca. 2.5 mm. Capsules globose, 10-12 mm. Seeds globose or lightly angled, 2-3 mm diam. Flowering mostly Apr--May. Roadsides, crop fields; 500 m; introduced; Calif.; probably native to Near East. Gladiolus italicus is a weed of cultivation, not known certainly as a truly wild plant. Occasionally, small-flowered plants with aborted anthers occur in some populations, but such gynodioecious individuals have not been recorded in North America.