DAME EDNA Everage is famed for her gladioli, possums. So she was the perfect person to launch this year's gladioli-themed Maindee Festival.

The iconic star arrived in a limousine at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff today and was greeted by a red carpet. One of her fans had even dressed head-to-toe as the Melbourne housewife superstar's favourite bloom.

Dame Edna said: "I'm planning to give gladioli to my Welsh fans – they’re grown on my Australian gladioli farm.

"Gladioli bring such good luck and they have healing properties. You can strap one to the affected part of your anatomy."

After throwing a bunch of the flowers into the arms of her adoring public, Dame Edna spoke to the crowds of fans gathered at the Cardiff arts centre about her upcoming Farewell Tour this autumn and to encourage them to get involved in planting the 6,000 gladioli for this year’s festival.

Dame Everage, who has always been associated with the flower encouraged people to attend this year's festival and get in to the spirit by planting gladioli.

The festival, sponsored by Newport City Homes, will take place on Saturday July 6, centred around the theme "Seeds of Change". It aims to get the public interested in growing flowers.

Angela Lloyd, chairwoman of Maindee Action Group, said: "The Maindee Festival has been going for 17 years and everyone in Maindee really enjoys it."

The Maindee Festival Association is encouraging the public to grow 'gladdy bags,' flower bags filled with the South African flower.

The 'gladdy bags' will then be used in the festival's parade where 500 to 1000 people are expected take part.

Organiser John Hallam said: "The idea is to get children and the general public involved in growing flowers to see that it is not that difficult.

"We will be planting gladioli in Pill and the Maindee area.

"Having Dame Edna Everage supporting the festival is an amazing tie in with the theme of gladioli.

“We run on a shoestring so celebrity endorsement doesn’t happen very often."

Nia Jones, Communications Manager, at Wales Millennium Centre, agrees.

She said: "It is the icing on the cake to have Dame Edna Everage here today to support the Maindee festival, we are so pleased to have her here."

The flower can grow up to four feet in many bright colours.

If you would like to plant some gladioli for this year’s festival you can order your gladdy gag on the Maindee festival website.

www.maindee.org or info@maindee.org