MONTBRETIA

Crocosmia aurea × pottsii

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora

Iris Family [Iridaceae]  

month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept month8Oct

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8orange
inner
inner8red
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZ6
stem
stem8lens

16th Aug 2010, sand dunes, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Forms clumps and spreads by proliferation of corms beneath ground level. Grows up to 60cm high.


16th Aug 2010, sand dunes, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers not yet fully open.


16th Aug 2010, sand dunes, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in a herringbone arrangement. From a very short sepal tube emerges six orange-red petals fanning out in an exponential horn-shape manner seemingly in a 3+3 arrangement.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers profusely resembling a blaze of flames.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers emerge from purple sepals on alternate sides at the ends of round stalks.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flower stalks curve over with the flowers drooping groundwards giving in an asymmetric manner.


30th July 2007, Slaithwaite, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers hardly ever betray the presence of their 6 petals.


22nd August 2007, Llanfairfechan, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Deep orange tones, almost red.


16th Aug 2010, sand dunes, Ainsdale, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Unless you turn the flower over to reveal the 6 'petals' in a 3+3 arrangement, the outer three being sepals, the inner being petals - which are not all of equal length - it has a slight asymmetry, hence hemizygomorphic.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The parallel-veined leaves are strap-shaped with pointed tips that are often tinged orange.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Montretia grows in clumps, spreading from underground corms.


Aug. A garden in Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The developing fruits, green at first and like miniature somewhat mis-shapen green peppers.


8th Aug 2017, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A style which forks into 3 with a stigma on each end, which themselves are slightly splayed.


8th Aug 2017, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The style looks as though it might bifurcate before reaching the end.


8th Aug 2017, a garden, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
There are three anthers, which are long and flat(ish).


This plant is a man-made hybrid between Potts Montbretia (Crocosmia Pottsii) and Falling Stars (Crocosmia Aurea) which was performed in France.

Some similarities to : Pott's Montbretia (crocosmia pottsii) but that has petal lobes half as long as the abruptly widening tube, and to Aunt Eliza Crocosmia paniculata) which is taller at 1.2m and has petal lobes less than half as long as the abruptly widening tube, and to Giant Montbretia (Crocosmia masoniorum) which has much redder flowers, stamens protruding and stands about 1.2m tall.

Distinguishable from Giant Montbretia by the lack of pleating (corrugating) in the leaves, and by the deep orange colour of the flowers, red in Giant Montbretia.

Name derived from the Greek, crocos = crocus or saffron, and osmos= smell or odour because it has the aroma of saffron when moist, saffron being a spice: the stigmas of the crocus flower.

Montbretia is not native, but widely escaped from gardens now growing on seaside cliff tops, and grassy banks near the sea, hardly ever inland. It is to be found, or was in 1965, all the way along the sides of Isle of Man Manx Electric Railway lines between Laxey, through Minorca to Onchan Head.

Montbretias grow from corms, which are easily split into numerous parts. It spreads rather vigorously via a proliferation of these under-ground corms. A vertical barrier from ground level to 6 inches below ground will prevent this type of spreading (but not the self-seeding). Because of this propensity to spread rapidly it has been regarded as a problem plant, to be controlled. No other plants can grow where Montbretia spreads because of the dense strap-like foliage and the fact that the numerous corms form an impenetrable almost conglomerate-like continuous seal about 3 inches below ground level. The corms are similar in form to garlic cloves, but as hard as conkers! Even getting a 4-pronged garden-fork through them is problematic.

The flowers of Crocosmia species yield a yellow to saffron-tinged dye.


  Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Iridaceae  

Distribution
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 BSBI maps
genus8crocosmia
Crocosmia
(Montbretias)

MONTBRETIA

Crocosmia aurea × pottsii

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora

Iris Family [Iridaceae]  

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