Crocosmia

27 Feb

 

Crocosmia, orange to red flowers on long stems spring/summer, 3-4 ft., naturalizes, sun or part shade, tolerates poor soil and drought, good cut flower.

Native to tropical and southern Africa. Formerly called tritonia, these perennials are related to freesia, ixia, sparaxis. Sword-shaped leaves emerge from basal clumps. Small orange, red, or yellow flowers bloom in summer (spring in hottest areas) on branched stems.

Useful for splashes of garden color and for cutting. Plant in well-drained, enriched soil; set corms 2 in. deep, 3 in. apart. Divide clumps only when vigor, flower quality begin to decline.

Crocosmia hybrids

Among 2-ft.-high choices are ‘Citronella‘, light yellow flowers with dark eye; ‘Emily McKenzie‘, orange with red eye; and ‘Solfatare‘, bronze foliage and yellow flowers.

In the 2‘3-ft. range are ‘Babylon‘ (orange flowers with scarlet throats), ‘Emberglow‘ (scarlet), and ‘Jenny Bloom‘ (golden yellow).

‘Lucifer‘ grows 4 ft. tall, with bright red blossoms.

 

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