Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

22 Jul

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' flower (27/07/2011, London)

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ flower (27/07/2011, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Well drained soil

Flowering period: Summer

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Iridaceae

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is a deciduous cormous perennial with a clump forming habit. It has long, lanceolate, erect, basal, and channeled bright green leaves. it bears hermaphroditic, funnel shaped, deep rich red flowers in dense branching spikes in mid-summer.

The Crocosmia genus, commonly known as Montbretia is native to South Africa. In America they are known as Coppertips and in various temperate climates around the world some hybrids have become invasive weeds as the corms may become separated from the plant making it difficult to remove. Crocosmia has a long horticultural history. A major development, by Victor Lemoine, of the genus occurred in France in 1879 with the crossing of Crocosmia aurea with Crocosmia pottsii which produced the inter-specific hybrid Crocosmia x crocosmiifloraCrocosmia ‘Lucifer’ was produced by Alan Bloom in 1966 and is likely, although it is the result of a century of hybridization, to contain a large proportion of Crocosmia masoniorum and Crocosmia paniculata in its genes.

The etymological root of the binomial name Crocosmia is derived from the Greek krokos, meaning “saffron”, and osme, meaning “odour”.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' (27/07/2011, London)

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (27/07/2011, London)

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ may be useful to the landscape architect in an informal prairie scheme or as part of a mixed planting scheme. It is also drought tolerant once established.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will tolerate almost any soil conditions; it will be happy in neutral, acid or alkaline pH levels, in loam, clay, chalk or sand based soils facing an exposed or sheltered southern, eastern or western facing aspect.

Ecologically, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will attract pollinating insects such as butterflies and honey bees and although it is not native to this continent it has been known to attract large numbers of these pollinating insects.

Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ little maintenance. The foliage may be left on the plant over winter to protect the corms. The clumps may be divided in spring.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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3 Responses to “Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’”

  1. wordpressly 03/05/2012 at 18:29 #

    Warning: This is a horribly invasive species in coastal North Carolina, USA. Don’t plant it unless in a planter or pot. Previous homeowners planted all over our back yard flower beds and now it has taken over. Hate to use herbicides, but don’t have any choice to get rid of this mess. Didn’t know it was invasive or would NEVER HAVE BOUGHT THE HOUSE.

  2. wordpressly 03/05/2012 at 18:34 #

    Warning: This is a horribly invasive species in eastern North Carolina, USA. Don’t plant it !!! If you must have it around, put it in a pot. Previous homeowners planted this all over the back yard in flower beds before moving, and now it has spread causing a huge problem for us. If I could sue them to pay for the removal, I would !!! I try to garden organically, but this crocosmia stuff is out of control and I’m going to have to resort to herbicides. So sad. I wouldn’t have bought the house if I had know what they had planted . . . .

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 03/05/2012 at 18:48 #

      Thanks for the warning. This pant is quite a different specimen in the UK, it will spread, but (in my experience) not in an aggressive manor.

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