Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

I mentioned Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ in my August newsletter, happily flowering in my garden despite the wet weather.

The late Alan Bloom, who introduced the plant into the UK, rated it as the best – and who could argue with that? Certainly, it’s a superb plant, with arching stems that produce tapering clusters of orange-red flowers among sheaves of pleated leaves. The flowers at the base open first, as you can see in the picture – I’m not sure that the ones at the tip ever do.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' - the flowers are much larger than those of any other variety

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' - the flowers are much larger than those of any other variety

Apparently, they are recommended for cutting, though I think the flowers wouldn’t last long in water – the point is to wait for the seed heads (which are attractive) to form, then use these. Incidentally, the plant can’t be grown from seed, so unless you are planning to do some flower arranging – something I never do – cut the stems back after flowering.

While bold clumps are the ideal, the underground corms quickly become congested and can fail to flower (as with daffodils). They need dividing regularly – I’ll post details of how to do this in the autumn.

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