Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
James H. Schutte
A brilliant presence in the summer garden, crocosmias are somewhat cold-tender herbaceous perennials native to South Africa. Although represented by several species in the wild, they are best known in gardens by their hybrid cultivars. In summer, spreading clumps of sword-like leaves give rise to tall, slender stems topped with arching flower spikes. The tubular orange, red or yellow flowers have six lobes that flare at the tips. Plants grow from bulb-like corms that spread by underground stolons. Numerous cultivars are available, including some dating back 100 years or more. Among the most familiar are the fiery red 'Lucifer' and the orange, red-blotched 'Emily McKenzie.'
These plants are striking in the sunny border when grown in fertile, well-drained soil. In colder climates, mulching will improve winter hardiness, or the corms can be lifted and stored. Visited in the wild by sunbirds, the flowers also attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and are excellent for cutting. Many crocosmias are vigorous spreaders, and have escaped the garden in some areas. They should be divided every few years to maintain a relatively compact clump.
9 - 3
6 - 9
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Bulb or Corm or Tuber
18"-60" / 45.7cm - 152.4cm (36)
1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Yellow, Red, Orange
Green, Light Green
Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Wildflower
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