They are cormous plants which produce erect sword-shaped to lanceolate green leaves. As many as 20 flowers are borne in pairs as terminal inflorescences on stems to 90cm long. The flowers are tubular and usually very showy in bright shades of yellow, orange or red.


Border plants, shrubbery, alpine garden. They make excellent cut flowers.


They prefer a sandy free-draining soil in a sheltered position in full sun. Water them well over the summer during the growing season. Prune back spent flower stems. The corms should be lifted and stored over winter in cooler climates but should not be too moist or too dry.


They may be grown by lifting and dividing offsets from the main corm every few years after the flowers are spent, or in the spring before new growth begins. Small cormlets are produced on the ends of underground chains and are nearer the surface than the main corms. Alternatively, grow from ripe seeds sown after collecting.  


Cultivars include:

C. x crocosmiiflora (Montbretia) - leaves to 60cm tall. Trumpet-shaped flowers to 3.5cm long are borne in summer on stems to 90cm tall. Colours vary from red through to yellow. There are very many named varieties.

C. masonorum - pleated leaves to 75cm tall. Orange-red flowers to 2.5cm long are borne on arching stems in late spring to summer. 


Plant Health

There are no pests or diseases of note. Some species may become weeds in favourable environments due to the ease with which small cormlets detach from the main corm and spread.

More info

There are more than 10 species in this genus which come from South Africa, as well as hundreds of cultivars.