The name Montbretia came from a young French botanist, Coquebert de Montbret, who accompanied Nelson on the invasion of Egypt in 1798 where he unfortunately died.

The genus of semi evergreen corms originates in temperate Africa from where they have successfully colonised swathes of ground through Britain. Patches of C. x crocosmiiflora are well recognised in the Western Isles having spread successfully.

A walk through the Garden will reward you with clumps of Crocosmia masonorum. Foliage to 1 metre and the flower spike above a good orange colour.

Crocosmia pottsii is a slightly smaller growing plant with a red shade to the individual flower. Collected in the wild from Natal Province by Bill Burtt in 1975.

Then we have the large flowered, vigorous cultivar Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. This will reach 1.2m with the monocot leaf sheath and the bright red flowers often topping this height.

Crocosmia masonorum. Photo by Tony Garn

Crocosmia masonorum

Crocosmia pottsii. Photo by Tony Garn

Crocosmia pottsii