Montbretias are named after the French botanist Monsieur de Montbret who accompanied Napoleon in the Egypt campaign of 1798. They are now correctly grouped into the Crocosmia genus whose name is derived from the Greek (krokos) for saffron and (osme) for smell which describes the saffron scent that is given off by the dried flowers when rehydrated. Very useful for late-summer colours in the warm oranges, hot reds and yellows. and they make excellent cut flowers. Hardy once established deeply, they still appreciate winter mulching to protect the early shoots. Crocosmias will not flourish on poor dry soil, they must have rich soil and summer moisture. They seem to do better with splitting and relocation at regular intervals. Do order early, in a mild spring they grow away rather early and become very fragile to handle.
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