Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora 'Solfatare'

Common Name: montbretia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Iridaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Pale apricot-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful


Grow in medium moisture, moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun in cool summer climates, but appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Tolerant of some drought once established. Plant corms in spring after last frost date approximately 3-4” deep and 6” apart. These plants may not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where they will benefit from being sited in protected locations (e.g., near the south side of a house) and mulched in winter. Corms may be lifted in fall, dried and stored for winter in a dry medium in a cool but frost-free location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora is an interspecific hybrid resulting from a cross between C. aurea and C. pottsii.

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.

Specific epithet means Crocosmia-flowered.

‘Solfatare’ was first hybridized in France in 1897. It is a popular montbretia hybrid that is noted for its bronze, sword-shaped, basal foliage (1.5-2’ tall) and its nodding, tubular, somewhat star-like, pale apricot yellow flowers (1-2”). Flowers appear in summer above the foliage on the upper portions of arching, often-branched scapes. Leaves appear in fans resembling gladiolus or iris. Synonymous with Tritonia crocosmiiflora.


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. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.


Perennial borders in groupings or masses. Also effective in containers where lifting corms for winter is rather simple.