Bright orange montbretia is quite reliable and resilient, but can easily become a weed if not groomed of fading flowers.

Once they get into the garden, montbretia, Crocosmia X crocosmiiflora, may never leave. They sometimes survive the demolition of their original garden to emerge and bloom in the garden of a new home built on the same site. Bulbs (actually corms) multiply surprisingly efficiently to form large colonies that should eventually be divided if they get too crowded to bloom. Ungroomed plants sow seeds that may be invasive.

The one or two inch wide flowers are almost always bright orange, but can sometimes be reddish orange, yellow or pale yellow. The branched flower stems are two or three feet tall or a bit taller, and stand nicely above the grassy foliage. The narrow leaves are about half and inch to an inch wide.

10 thoughts on “Montbretia

  1. The orange ones are harder to find here as the red ‘Lucifer’ seems to have taken European nurseries by storm. I rather like that colour. I only wish mine were a little more vigorous. Still, they have flowered well in a dry area exposed to the wind and are certainly ‘resilient’. Perhaps it is our cold damp winters that keep them in check, although I have heard they can be invasive in the UK too.

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    1. Since this picture was taken, I found that these particular montbretia are somewhat more complaisant than I was aware of at the time. The more common sort that naturalized at work are impossible to eradicate. ‘Lucifer’ was available during the mid 1990s, but never became popular.

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    1. Be careful with them. Some are aggressively invasive. These (in the picture) are strangely docile. (I did not know that when I took the picture.) Another variety or species naturalized at work, and is impossible to eradicate.

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    1. We have been relocating errant specimens from our landscapes to border walkways, and to fill in bald spots in larger colonies. It has always been here, but is scattered about. We prefer it to be more orderly. The largest colony is about as big as an urban backyard. Besides all of this, I still have enough of my own lily of the NIle for about a hundred linear feet along a driveway (if that is how I choose to install it). I have been growing this same lily of the Nile since I was a kid. Copies of it have gone to several places in America, including a few that went to near Portland. They are potted there, so that they can be protected from frost. I think that they would survive frost, but would need to regenerate their foliage annually. I might take some to Kitsap County in Washington at the end of this winter.

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