Copper Tips, Falling Stars, Montbretia
Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’
Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit
Crocosmia Planch. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this genus. It was named and described by Jules Émile Planchon in Flore des Serres et des Jardins de l’Europe in 1851.
As of 11-27-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 8 species in the Crocosmia genus. Crocosmia is a member of the plant family Iridaceae (Iris) with 69 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ is an Alan Bloom Hybrid registered in 1966 and is regarded as one of the hardiest Crocosmia cultivars.
I had never seen any Crocosmia at a local greenhouse before, so when I saw several at Wildwood, I had to bring a couple of pots home. My first experience with this plant was when I was helping friends clean their beds in Mississippi. She had a whole colony of Crocosmia. I’m not sure of the cultivar name, but they were definitely red. I thought it was funny how all the plants were leaning in the same direction.
I planted the Crocosmia in the north bed along the wall of the house. Now, we shall see what they will do.
I was surprised with one of the plants starting to flower on July 9. It is easy to forget about the plants in the background and I almost missed the show…
Origin: The genus is from South Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 5-9 (° F)*
Size: 2-4’ tall x 1-2’ wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Medium moisture, well-draining soil
Flowers: Red flowers June to August
*Some websites indicate they are cold hardy down to USDA zone 5 with protection. They actually need protection and mulching anywhere below freezing. It is a good idea, just to be safe, to dig your corms and store them inside for the winter until you have enough to experiment with. They do spread, so you will eventually have plenty. The Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder says they NOT reliably winter hardy in the St. Louis (Missouri) area.
Crocosmia prefers a well-drained, humus-rich soil that is consistently moist. They like plenty of sun, but need a shadier spot in hot climates. If planting corms, plant 3-4” deep and 6” apart.
The Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’ is a nice bright red color that can get your attention. I also see another flower stem on its way.
Crocosmia can spread rapidly and become invasive which you need to be aware of. They can easily be transplanted to other areas.
You also need to know that this plants sword-like leaves grow kind of vertically, so don’t worry if they are leaning sideways. The flower stems also grow that way.
The red flowers are great in arrangements.
This is my first attempt at growing Crocosmia so I don’t have any experience with them yet. I will continue adding more photos and information as time goes by.
Unfortunately, these plants did not return in 2019 and I didn’t notice any available at the local greenhouses.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.