Montbretia (Crocosmia) to Wear The Raindrops / 雨滴を纏うモントブレチア

12 Interesting Facts About Crocosmia

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Crocosmia, also known as Montbretia or Coppertips, is a beloved flower known for its fiery colors and unique shape. Though they look delicate, Crocosmia are quite hardy and easy to grow.

If you’re considering adding these beauties to your garden, you’ll be happy to know Crocosmias have a lot more to offer than meets the eye! Here are 12 fascinating facts about this eye-catching plant:

1. Crocosmia Symbolize Festivity and Celebration

With their vibrant, joyful colors, Crocosmia flowers have come to represent festivity, celebration, and warmth. Their bright petals seem to dance in the summer breeze, perfectly suiting summer parties and events.

In the language of flowers, Crocosmia signify excitement, energy, optimism, creativity, and friendship.

2. They Come in a Rainbow of Colors

While orange and red are the most common, Crocosmia blooms come in a diverse palette. You can find flowers in warm yellow, bright pink, peach, and more. New cultivars have even yielded purple-black blooms!

Popular Crocosmia Colors:

  • Vibrant red
  • Burnt orange
  • Golden yellow
  • Peachy pink
  • Coppery bronze

3. Crocosmia Belong to the Iris Family

Crocosmia
Crocosmia

Though the flowers look unique, Crocosmia are part of the Iris family (Iridaceae). They’re close relatives to Irises, Freesias, Gladioli and other popular ornamentals.

Like their Iris cousins, Crocosmia grows from rhizomes called corms—rounded bulbs that store nutrients underground over winter.

4. They Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies

A single Crocosmia stalk can hold over 20 tubular blossoms at once, providing a feast for pollinators. Their high nectar content makes them a favorite among hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

Plant clumps of Crocosmia in your butterfly or cottage garden to draw in hungry visitors all summer long!

5. Crocosmia are Native to Africa

The Crocosmia genus contains about 11 species, though hundreds of hybrid cultivars exist today. They originated in the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa, mainly in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Fun fact: Crocosmia are sometimes referred to as the “Harlequin flowers of Africa” for their showy, multicolored blooms.

6. They Grow 3-5 Feet Tall

A mature Crocosmia plant can reach impressive heights, often between 3-5 feet tall at full size. The slender stems hold up the vibrant flower sprays elegantly.

Some smaller species, like C. pottsii, only grow 12-18 inches tall. But most common garden hybrids become quite statuesque by midsummer!

7. Crocosmia Make Great Cut Flowers

With their lasting beauty and striking colors, Crocosmia blooms also make fantastic cut flowers. Cut stems once at least half the flowers on the stalk have opened.

Pro Cut Flower Tips:

  • Choose stems with at least 3-5 buds
  • Cut in the morning
  • Strip lower leaves
  • Use floral preservative

8. They Bloom Mid to Late Summer

Crocosmia deliver a much-needed burst of color in the midsummer garden. While many spring plants fade out, Crocosmia gear up for an eye-catching display just as other flowers wane.

Most Crocosmia cultivars bloom between early July and late August. Some, like the popular Lucifer hybrids, flower as late as early September!

9. Crocosmia Spread Rapidly

Like many bulbs and rhizomes, Crocosmia multiply quickly through underground cormlets. Established clumps can double in size each year, their offspring sprouting up far from the mother plant.

This makes them great filler plants, though they may need occasional thinning. Their rapid spread also allows you to divide clumps and share with gardening friends!

10. They’re Easy to Grow

From loose, well-drained soil to ample sunlight, Crocosmia aren’t too picky about their living conditions. They tolerate drought, humidity, and poor soil quite well. Most varieties also handle cold winters, rated down to USDA Zone 6 or even Zone 5.

As long as their basic needs are met, Crocosmia require little maintenance or special care to thrive. No wonder they’re so popular among busy gardeners!

11. But They Have Invasive Potential

While lovely in the garden, Crocosmia’s gift for spreading has enabled some varieties to escape into natural areas. C. aurea and C. pottsii are notorious invaders in parts of the Pacific Northwest and Australia.

If planting outdoors, stick to sterile hybrids and remove spent flowers before they set seed. Monitor your Crocosmia patch for new sprouts around the edges.

12. They’re Useful For Erosion Control

With their extensive root systems and spreading habit, Crocosmia make great erosion control plants for slopes and banks. Their thick corms and fibrous roots stabilize the soil against wind, rain, and gravity’s pull.

Crocosmia look especially striking on terraces and planted en masse along hillsides or road cuts.

With striking flowers, graceful foliage, and nearly carefree growth, it’s easy to see why gardeners cherish Crocosmia. Their versatility and vibrancy make them a stand-out choice for beds, borders, and bouquets alike!


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