GIANT MONTBRETIA

Crocosmia masoniorum

Iris Family [Iridaceae]

month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8red
 
inner
inner8orange
 
morph
morph8hemizygo
 
petals
petalsZ6
tepals
type
typeZspiked
 
type
typeZtrumpet
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8lens
 
smell
smell8saffron
saffron

12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
Forms clumps growing up to 1.2m and hardly living up to its' 'Giant' moniker compared to the superficially similar New-Zealand Flax which is not only in a differing genus but also a differing family.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
It has iris-type leaves which are pleated, un-like the un-pleated leaves of the very similar but slightly smaller Montbretia.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
Un-opened flower buds are in a dense elongated triangular spike which droops.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
Flowers a more redder orange than those of Montbretia.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
Flowers rather zygomorphic with a long curved perianth-tube (the widening tubular part) opening out into 6 'petals' (actually tepals).


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
As the flower buds develop they grow further apart and larger. Stems a glaucous dark-purple.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
The flower buds resemble long boxing gloves without a thumb. There are short green sections to the tepal tube before it becomes a more-uniform deep orange.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
The 'petals' (tepal lobes)) are as long as the tubular part of the perianth, which in total is 4.8 to 6cm long. The 'petals' also spread apart widely.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
The lower tepals are slightly longer than the upper ones giving the flower a hemi-zygomorphic appearance. The style is long and splits into three near the end, which can split again into two very near the end, giving approximately 6 small whitish discoidal stigmas. The stamens and anthers are shorter than the stigma and seem to be concolorous with the perianth and hence not easily seen.


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD


12th July 2014, Wigg Island, Runcorn Photo: © RWD
Leaves are pleated especially when young and with at least a few leaves wider than 3cm.


Easily mis-identified as : several other species of Crocosmia such as :

  • Pott's Montbretia (Crocosmia potsii) which has petal lobes which are only half the length of the perianth tube (which abruptly widens).
  • Aunt Eliza (Crocosmia paniculata) which has petal lobes up to only half the lengthof the perianth tube (which also abruptly widens) but also with pleated leaves.
  • Montbretia (Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora) which has petal lobes about the same length of the perianth tube and un-pleated leaves.

Slight resemblance to : New-Zealand Flax but that is far taller and much sturdier, with leaves which are only around its base and nowhere near as long as the flower stalks. It is also in a totally differing Family, Xanthorrhoeaceae.

Related to : Crocuses (Crocus) which inhabit the same family but are in a differing genus.

The flowers smell of Saffron.


  Crocosmia masoniorum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Iridaceae  

Distribution
 family8Iris family8Iridaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Crocosmia
Crocosmia
(Montbretias)

GIANT MONTBRETIA

Crocosmia masoniorum

Iris Family [Iridaceae]