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CROCOSMIA 'Spitfire'

Image of Crocosmia 'Spitfire'

Blooms of Bressingham

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

CROCOSMIA 'Spitfire'

Plant Common Name

Crocosmia, Montbretia

General Description

The fiery flowers of this upright herbaceous perennial set the garden aglow during summer's dog days. Developed by famed British plantsman Alan Bloom, it is one of many garden hybrids of the South African genus Crocosmia, which are sometimes known as montbretias.

From mid to late summer, 'Mistral' bears arching wands of upfacing orange-red flowers. Resembling miniature daylilies, the six-lobed, long-tubed blooms cluster along thigh-high stems above pleated, erect, iris-like leaves. The plants grow from corms which spread moderately by underground stolons.

Plant montbretia in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun to light shade. In colder regions, plant it near a wall and protect it with a blanket of mulch applied after the ground freezes. In areas where it is not hardy, dig the corms and store them indoors in potting mix for the winter. Divide the clumps every few years to retain vigor. Grow montbretia in mixed borders where you want a splash of bright color. Plant extra to cut. The flowers attract hummingbirds.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    23"-30" / 58.4cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No