14 July 2013

Crocosmia are coppertips, falling stars or montbretia

Crocosmias are native to South Africa but do wonderfully well here in Northeast Oklahoma anyway. They bloom their little heads off and make babies by the dozens each year, making it possible to move them around the garden to almost every bed except the deepest shade.


Crososmia with a yellow pot marigold
The corms are planted in the fall and often bloom the following spring. They can be started from seeds. (Plant in seed trays, about 1/4" deep, in seed starting soil and plant out in the spring.

They do have to be divided every few years since they become so thick - they are related to that every multiplying-iris after all. Also related to gladiolus.
 
Give them lots of sun and some water for best blooming on stems that are about 2-feet tall or less. They do not make good cut flowers as they fade and fall apart quickly after cutting.
 
Cold hardy in zones 6 to 10, they couldn't be any easier to grow.
 
Plant Delights catalog says, "Crocosmia species were first hybridized in the 1870's at the Lemoine nursery in France, and over 400 cultivars have been introduced. However many of the fine old cultivars have sadly been lost to history." They offer 4 varieties.

Our bulbs came from a Muskogee Garden Club plant swap several years ago.
 
Easy to Grow Bulbs says, "But these glad cousins certainly approach life differently. Glads are belle of the ball types, with kaleidoscope blooms and flowers festooned with wild patterns and ruffles. Crocosmia stick to the yellow-orange-red side of the color wheel and deliver a concentrated, straight-forward presentation with glacefully arched spray of blossoms. Crocosmia are also tougher when it come to winter temperatures, weathering zone 5 or zone 6 chills, depending on the variety.
 
The native Crocosmia ×crocosmiiflora (V. Lemoine) N.E. Br. [aurea × pottsii] montbretia has naturalized in parts of the U.S. It is considered invasive on the west coast.

 
Hort.nethttp://www.hort.net/lists/medit-plants/apr99/msg00041.html has a thorough history if you are interested in more info. It's quite interesting to me.

Get a few bulbs and give them plenty of sun. They will reward you!
 
 
 

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