The Crocosmia is a cormous perennial from the iris family (Iridaceae) and is native to South Africa. The Crocosmia is also known by its old name montbretia. Different names are used for the Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Carmin Brilliant’: Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘James Coey’, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Carmine Brilliant’, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Carmin Brillant’, Crocosmia ‘James Coey’, Crocosmia ‘Carmine Brilliant’, Crocosmia ‘Carmin Brilliant’.

The name Crocosmia comes from the Greek. ‘Krokos’ means saffron and ‘osme’ means smell. The dried flowers of the Crocosmia smell like saffron when they are put in warm water. The Crocosmia is also a genus from the same family as the saffron crocus. The yellow sap from the flowers of the Crocosmia is sometimes used to replace saffron.

Crocosmia has strong sword-shaped leaves and the flower spikes rise above them. The stems of the flower spikes are partially attached to the leaves and they are slightly arched at the end. The leaves have the tendency to grow in an angle. They need some support if you want to keep them erect. You can cut the spent flowers to where they are attached to the leaves to stimulate the development of new flowers. The flowers make excellent cut flowers and attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. 

The Crocosmia prefers sandy, moist and well-drained soil. In the winter the soil must not be too wet. The Crocosmia is tolerant to salt, summer heat and humidity and drought. If the soil is too rich the perennial will grow more leaves and less flowers. The Crocosmia will bloom longer in part shade in hot summer climates.

Do not cut the leaves after bloom. They will fill the corm with new energy to bloom the next year. You can cut back the foliage when the leaves have withered and died. The number of corms will increase through rhizomes over the years. You can dig up the corms in spring throw away the corms that are too much and replant the amount you want to keep.

Most Crocosmias are hardy in zones 6-9. In these zones the corms can be left in de ground. If you live in an area where you need to lift Crocosmia corms against the winter cold it is important not to let them dry out. Remove the surplus soil and store them in trays in a cool place. You can replant the corms after the frost period in spring at about 8 cm (3 inches) deep. Replant them in cool conditions to allow them to rehydrate before shooting.

The Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘Carmin Brilliant’ spreads through rhizomes but is not invasive. If this Crocosmia is happy it will grow vigorous and soon you will have many stems.



Attracts bees: yes

Characteristic: newly emerging every year

Deer resistant: yes

Exposure: sun/ part shade

Flower color: red

Flowering time: July – August

Foliage color: green

Fragrant flower: no

Hardiness: 14 ºF/-10 ºC

Height: 32 inches/ 80 cm

Soil: normal