Native to tropical and southern Africa. Formerly called tritonia; related to freesia. Sword-shaped leaves grow in basal clumps; small orange, red, or yellow flowers bloom in summer. Useful for splashes of garden color; good cut flowers.
C. x crocosmiiflora. MONTBRETIA. A favorite for generations, montbretias can still be seen in older gardens, where they have spread freely, bearing orange-crimson, 1- to 2-in. blossoms on stems 34 ft. tall. Leaves are 3 ft. long. Many once-common named forms are making a comeback; col- ors include yellow, orange, cream, and near-scarlet. Good for naturalizing on slopes or in fringe areas. Spreads quickly when happy.
C. hybrids. Sturdy plants with branching spikes of showy flowers. Some are sold as selections of C. x crocosmiiflora.
'Bressingham Beacon'. To 3 ft. tall. Brilliant orange buds open to orange-and-yellow flowers. Purple stems.
'Bright Eyes'. To 20 in. high. Bright orange flowers with red centers. Heavy bloomer.
'Emberglow'. To 2 ft. high. Burnt orange-red flowers with yellow throat.
'Emily McKenzie'. Grows to 2 ft. tall. Orange with red eye.
'Honey Angels' ('Citronella'). Grows to 2 ft. high: bright yellow flowers.
'Jenny Bloom'. To 23 ft. tall. Golden yellow flowers.
'Little Redhead'. Bright red-orange flowers on 20-in.-high stems. Heavy bloomer.
'Lucifer'. To 4 ft. tall. Popular selection with bright red blossoms.
'Star of the East'. To 2 ft. high. Spreads slowly. Clear orange blooms with burgundy markings and a lighter orange center.
'Venus'. To 2 ft. high. Peachy yellow flowers with maroon-blotched throats. Purple stems.
'Walberton Yellow'. ('Walcroy'). Large, golden yellow flowers with curved petals. Heavy blooming to 2 ft. tall.
Plant in well-drained, enriched soil; set corms 2 in. deep, 3 in. apart. Where winter temperatures remain above 10F, needs no winter protection. Where lows range from 10F to 5F, provide winter mulch. In colder areas, dig and store over winter. Divide clumps only when vigor, flower quality begin to decline.