crocosmias and montbretias

Jim McKenney
Mon, 29 Jul 2013 10:50:04 PDT

Back in 2011 we had a thread going about crocosmias. I learned there about Far Reaches Farm and their crocosmia selection and obtained some much desired cultivars from them. These came as potted clumps and performed well the first year. I also ordered the Van Noort hybrids from The Lily Garden. These came as dry corms (big ones!) which all grew the first year but did not set the world on fire. 

All of these were obtained in the spring of 2012. With one exception, this year they all performed very well indeed. The taller Van Noort hybrids and 'Lucifer' bloomed freely at the four and five foot level. 

The lower growing old montbretia hybrids are blooming freely now, and some of these are putting on a great show. 'Lady Hamilton' is really impressively floriferous in its second year, as is 'Prometheus'. 'Prometheus' is a lot like 'Emily McKenzie' except the Emily has larger flowers. 

I took a chance on an old hybrid I had never heard of, 'Castle Ward Late'. What attracted me to this one is that it was raised by Max Leichtlin. This has turned out to be a great choice: the inflorescence is tall so that the flowers form a diffuse red-orange cloud over the foliage. 

'His Majesty' did well last year and bloomed freely, but apparently every last bit disappeared during the winter. It was a very mild winter which allowed the survival of cannas, dahlias, zantadeschias and gingers in an open field. So I'm disinclined to blame cold. But otherwise, what could have happened. If rodents are to blame, why did they eat only that one variety?

Anyone else growing these plants?

Jim McKennehy
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7

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