Crocosmia / Montbretia

Crocosmia x ‘Lucifer’ – This is probably the most widely planted Crocosmia and for good reason. It bears large flaming red flowers on tall arching stems from midsummer through to fall, much to the delight of the hummingbirds. This cross of C. masoniorum and C. paniculata was introduced in 1966 by Alan Bloom. Grows 3-4′ high. RHS Award of Garden Merit. Very hardy at zone 5.

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora – Old-fashioned Montbretia is way too invasive for urban gardens, but has its place in larger landscapes when used as a solitary mass planting. This cross of C. aurea and C. pottsii was bred by Victor Lemoine way back in 1880. The smaller reddish-orange blooms have yellow throats and colonize quickly. Grows to 24″ high. Hardy to zone 6.

Crocosmia x ‘Jenny Bloom’ (syn. ‘Blacro’) – A great combination of bright yellow blooms and a vigorous growth habit makes this a good choice for most gardens. Crocosmia prefer a part to full sun exposure and good drainage in winter is critical. They can also be grown in colder regions by lifting the corms in late fall and storing them like other tender bulbs. Grows 28-32″ high. Zone 6.

Crocosmia x ‘Emily McKenzie’ (syn. ‘Lady McKenzie’) – This Crocosmia really stands out with its large blooms (from August to October) of mid orange that open widely to reveal a bright red contrasting band. These are complimented by mid green sword-like foliage. Crocosmia is best planted in clumps or drifts in order to stand out. Grows 24 to 30″ high. Hardy to zone 6.

Crocosmia x ‘Little Redhead’ (syn. ‘Walrhead’) – A great option for those people with smaller gardens that can’t accommodate a much larger ‘Lucifer’. The compact ‘Little Redhead’ features soft red outward facing flowers (from July to September) with contrasting bright yellow throats. This is another Crocosmia much favoured by the hummingbirds. Grows 18-24″ high. Hardy to zone 6.

 

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