Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Common Name: montbretia 
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Scarlet red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Good Cut


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.

'Lucifer' is an Alan Bloom hybrid (Crocosmia x Curtonus) which has flowers and foliage that are similar to gladiolus. A clump-forming plant that features tubular, nodding, scarlet red, one-sided flowers borne along the upper portions of stiffly arching, sometimes branched, flower scapes (stems) typically rising up to 3' (infrequently to 4') tall and slightly above the narrow, sword-shaped, basal leaves.


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


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.