Plant of the Month for September, 2018

 (Kroh-KOZ-mee-uh  kroh-koz-mee-eye-FLOR-uh)

General Information:

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’ is a little-known late summer flowering plant. In my zone 5 garden it starts flowering around mid-August for about a month. The yellow-orange flowers add quite a sparkle in a garden where most perennials are starting to shut down for the year.

 Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’:photo by Robert Pavlis

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’:photo by Robert Pavlis

Crocosmia ‘George Davison’ is a hybrid between C. aurea and C. pottsii that was registered in 1900. The common name for plants of this cross is montbretia, which is a genus name that is no longer in use. The term is incorrectly used for any type of crocosmia. Other common names include coppertips and falling stars. Both of the parent species have native habitats along wooded stream banks, but George Davison is usually grown in full sun and drier conditions.

 Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’:photo by Robert Pavlis

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’:photo by Robert Pavlis

Perhaps the most popular crocosmia is Crocosmia x Curtonus 'Lucifer', the result of a cross between Crocosmia masoniorum × Crocosmia paniculata. This plant grows to 3 or 4 feet, while the montbretias top out at about 2 feet. Several shorter so-called Lucifers are in the trade and they are probably montbretia types that have been mislabeled. Lucifer has more upright facing flowers due to the parent C. masoniorum, while montbretia flowers face downwards.

Crocosmia root system:photo by Velela

The plant develops cormlets along its roots and these are a good way to propagate them. Montretia are hybrids that are reluctant to form seed and if seed is formed, it is usually not be viable.

 

Life Cycle: tuberous perennial

Height: 60 cm (2 in)

Bloom Time: summer

Natural Range: South Africa

Habitat: wooded river banks and grasslands

Synonyms:  Crocosmia x latifolia, Montbretia x crocosmiiflora, Tritonia x crocosmiiflora

 

Cultivation:

Light: full sun

Soil: well drained to moist

Water: prefers not to dry out

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9

Propagation: seed, division

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): rarely

A

Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
Robert Pavlis