February 1, 2023
Montbretia

Crocosmia x latifolia or Montrbretia

Crocosmia x latifolia is also known as Monbretia x crocosmiiflora, Tritonia x crocosmiiflora. It is part of the Iridaceae family of plants. The name is derived from Greek, Krokos meaning Saffron (the spice), and osme meaning odor, the reason is the leaves when dried have a saffron aroma.

Crocosmia x latifolia
Crocosmia x latifolia

Crocosmia x latifolia is a clump-forming, deciduous perennial. It grows from corms. The corms grow in chains with the oldest corm the deepest. It is easy to separate the corms when dividing. Crocosmia x latifolia is native to Africa. More precisely it is native to the grasslands in East Africa, from Sudan to South Africa. It grows to 1m or 3ft.

Montbretia
Crocosmia x latifolia or Montrbretia

Crocosmia x latifolia has iris-like leaves. In another word the foliage is sword-like. It produces arching stems with flowers during summer.

Crocosmia x latifolia flowers are tubular and bright orange. They appear on horizontally branched stems. There could be as many as 20 flowers on each stem. The flowers are hermaphroditic. They are pollinated by insects.

Crocosmia x latifolia
Crocosmia x latifolia

Place Crocosmia x latifolia in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in humus-rich, fertile and moist soil that is also well-drained. It should be planted about 10cm or 4in. Shelter it from cold winds.

Propagate by division. The best time to divide them is in early spring. Crocosmia x latifolia is generally disease-free, but watch out for red spider mite.

Crocosmia x latifolia
Crocosmia x latifolia at Kew Gardens, London, UK

Also read about Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

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