Montbretia CROCOSMIA

Montbretia is a must for flower arrangers, but it is also highly decorative in the garden. The plant forms a spreading clump of sword-like leaves and in late summer the wiry flower stems appear. Unfortunately it is not fully hardy – in the south you should leave the dead foliage on the plant over winter and you should cover the crown with bracken, leaves or peat. In colder areas you will have to lift and store the bulbs indoors.

VARIETIES: C. crocosmiiflora is the old favourite, popularly called Montbretia. The upright flower stalks bear trumpet-shaped flowers in zig-zag fashion. The 1.5 in. blooms are available in yellow, orange and red shades. C. masonorum is a better choice – arching stems bear large flame-coloured trumpets.

SITE AND SOIL: Well-drained, humus-rich soil in a sheltered sunny spot is essential.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time March. Planting depth 3 in.

Spacing: 6 in. Height 2-3 ft.

Flowering period: August-September.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps after flowering every 3 years.

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