Crocosmia (Montbretia)

Crocosmia is a genus of about 10 species in the family Iridaceae, native to southern and eastern Africa.
The plant has sword-shaped foliage and showy, brightly-colored, funnel-shaped flowers on arching stems. Crocosmia will bloom from July to October and attract much attention.

Name meaning

The scientific name comes from the Greek words “krokos” (“saffron”) and “osme” (“odor” or “smell”), alluding to the saffron scent the dried flowers produce. When the dried flowers are placed in warm water, they emit a strong smell of saffron.

Its common name was given in honor of Coquebert de Montbret (1780-1801), a French botanist who accompanied Napoleon when he invaded Egypt in 1798.

Crocosmia symbolism

Crocosmia represents confidence, feelings of love and deepest emotions.

Interesting facts about Crocosmia

Crocosmia Cultivars

Crocosmia is one of the plants that originated from Africa, but are cultivated all over the world. The cultivar diversity is enormous with more than 400 cultivars available.
The first hybrids were produced by the French plant breeder named Victor Lemoine (1823-1911), famously known for Peonies and Lilacs. He was one of the most prolific plant breeders of his period.
The popular hybrid Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ is the most widely grown cultivar of Crocosmia, with its typical sword-shaped foliage and unusual, bright red blooms that rise on tall arching stems. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is an extremely long lasting perennial and the hardiest of all Crocosmia varieties. Its vibrant flowers will attract hummingbirds to your garden, and possibly your neighbors too.

Benefits and Uses

Crocosmia is used to make a yellow dye, which is used as a saffron substitute for coloring foods.

These flowers are excellent cut flowers for fresh or dried arrangements.

Crocosmia Plant Data