Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora “Coleton Fishacre” – Montbretia

Crocosmia or montbretia have got a bit of a bad name in some quarters.  It is true that some escapees have naturalised in the wild at the expense of native species, can be rampant both in and out of the garden and are difficult to remove once they are established.  None of which we condone.  We mustn’t however tar them all with the same brush, they are not all thugs and many are extremely well-behaved and garden worthy. Their name comes from the Greek words krokos for saffron and osme for smell.  This variety is called Coleton Fishacre but, just to confuse things, I have also seen it called Golden Fleece and Gerbe d’Or.  It has shining yellow/orange trumpets which offset the bronze foliage perfectly.  With us it grows strongly but is not invasive making it the perfect stress free plant.  Coleton Fishacre is an Art Deco house and gardens on the south devon coast and I presume this plant is associated somehow.  This is another plant originating from africa, in the main the south, with only one species known elsewhere Crocosmia ambongensis which is endemic to Madagascar.  They are members of the iris family and grow from small corms which propagate themselves by growing new ones on top eventually forming long fragile strings, the contractile roots at the base drag the string downward into the ground.  When trying to dig up the plant invariably this string breaks and a corm escapes only to reappear the following year as a new plant, very clever, very annoying.

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One response to “Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora “Coleton Fishacre” – Montbretia

  1. Alex

    They’re not fragile strings when I try to dig the little darlings up! Tough as old boots they are.

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