Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie'
Common Name: montbretia 
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Coral-orange with red and yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Good Cut

Culture

Grow in medium moisture, moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun, but appreciates part shade in hot summer climates. Plant corms in spring after last frost date approximately 3-4” deep and 6” apart. Not reliably winter hardy in USDA Zone 5 where it needs a protected location and winter mulch. In order to insure winter survival in USDA Zone 5 and perhaps Zone 6A, digging up the corms in fall and storing them in a dry medium over winter (in somewhat the same manner as gladiolus) is an option that may be considered.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Crocosmia is a genus of about 7 species of cormous plants from grasslands in South Africa. They are good fresh cut flowers which are frequently used in commercial flower arrangements.

Genus name comes from the Greek words krokos meaning saffron and osme meaning a smell for the smell of dried flowers steeped in warm water.

'Emily McKenzie' is an upright selection of montbretia that features coral-orange flowers with red and yellow markings held on gently arching flowering stalks above narrow, sword-like foliage. Mature clumps will reach up to 3' tall and spread to fill a 2' area.

Problems

Spider mites can cause significant damage to the foliage, and, if left unchecked, can impair normal flowering. Winter hardiness is a concern in the St. Louis area.

Uses

Best when planted in clumps of 12 or more. Provides color and contrast to the perennial border. May be grown in containers where lifting in winter is perhaps easier.