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Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (photo courtesy of Norman A. Plate)
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (photo courtesy of Norman A. Plate)

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Zone
Zones 4-24, 28-39, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Crocosmia hybrids

Iridaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials, Flowers

CROCOSMIA

Native to tropical and southern Africa. Formerly called tritonia, these perennials are related to freesia, ixia, and sparaxis. Sword-shaped leaves emerge from basal clumps. Small orange, red, or yellow flowers bloom in summer (spring in the hottest areas) on branched stems.

Useful for splashes of garden color and for cutting. Plant in well-drained, enriched soil; set corms 2 in. deep, 3 in. apart. Where winter temperatures remain above 10°F/–12°C, needs no winter protection. Where lows range from 10° to –5°F/12° to –21°C, provide winter mulch. In colder areas, dig and store over winter. Divide clumps only when vigor and flower quality begin to decline.

Crocosmia hybrids

Among 2-ft.-high choices are ‘Citronella’, light yellow flowers with dark eye; ‘Emily McKenzie’, orange with red eye; and ‘Solfatare’, bronze foliage and yellow flowers.

In the 2–3-ft. range are ‘Babylon’ (orange flowers with scarlet throats), ‘Emberglow’ (scarlet), and ‘Jenny Bloom’ (golden yellow).

‘Lucifer’ grows to 4 ft. tall, with bright red blossoms.

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