Crocosmia - Crocosmia aurea, click for a larger image
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Crocosmia - Crocosmia aurea, click for a larger image
Click any photo for a larger image
Crocosmia - Crocosmia aurea, click for a larger image

Crocosmia - Crocosmia aurea spp.
Family - Iridaceae
Also known as - Montbretia, Falling Stars, Coppertips

Crocosmia is a bulbous plant from a genus of eight species being a native of South Africa.  It can grow up to about 90cm (3ft) tall.  The flowers are opposite alternate on a stiff arching stem, orange with yellow and orange-red traces but there are many cultivars of varying colours from dark red to yellow approximately 2.5cm (1in) in diameter.  The deciduous leaves are 60-90cm (2-3ft) long and between 2.5-5cm (1-2in) wide, lanceolate stiff and deciduous 2-3 in (60-90cm) long.  It is more commonly known as Montbretia, a common garden plant that can become invasive in the right conditions where it spreads by stolons which then create new corms. It's name is derived from the Greek "krokos" meaning saffron and "osme", smell, referring to the saffron-like scent, when dried flowers are dipped in water.  The plant is frost tolerant and will tolerate a range of soils but does not like to be waterlogged

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