Montbretia - Crocosmia crocosmiflora - Western Isles Orange / Red Wildflowers

Montbretia - Western Isles Wildflowers

Montbretia - Orange - Red Wildflowers
Western Isles Wildflowers - Montbretia. This spectacular plant can be seen alongside the country lanes and loch areas like Scalpay and Amhuinnsuidhe especially near the Castle from July to September creates a wonderful display of spikes of bright reddish-orange flowers.

Originates From South Africa
The Crocosmia originated in Southern Africa - so you might be surprised to find that the Montbretia is hardy enough to survive in the Western Isles.

New Corms
New corms are continually produced on short underground stolons & quickly form the large dense clumps of pale green straplike leaves. The flower is about 2 in (5 cm) across and the nodding cluster can be several inches long. This plant belongs to the family Iridaceae


Greek Name
The name crocosmia derives from the Greek words krokos (saffron) and osme (smell), referring to the saffron-like scent, when dried flowers are dipped in water.

Flowers of the Montbretia
Crocosmia - corms which form dense clumps of upright sword-shaped foliage. The flowers (25-55mm) are in a one-sided loose panicle and have a corolla which is tubed with six lobes. The three stamens protrude.

Tiny Flowers - between 4 - 20
They tiny flowers - between 4 and 20 vivid red and orange subopposite flowers on a divaricately branched stem. The grass-like leaves are long and narrow.


A beautiful sight when in full flower.

Botanist gave it the name Montbretia
This plant was named after Coquebert de Montbret (1780-1801) who was a French botanist who accompanied Napoleon when he invaded Egypt in 1798 and who died there at the age of 20.

The Montbretia leaves are bright green, spear-shaped, and appear in spring


The Montbretia tolerates a wide range of environmental conditions - it grows in any soil, wet or dry, poor or rich, in sun or shade. It thrives best though alongside the waters edges of the lochs and lochans where it spreads loike4 wildfire. It is fed by nutrients in the water.

The montbretia has naturalised itself in the Uk in certain areas - however gardeners throughout the Uk - find it so irresistible.

Their bulbs can easily be purchased at garden centres with the result that many "town" and "city" gardens play host to these splendid orange - red wildflowers.


Click pictures below for larger photographs


Montbretia are deciduous cormous perennials with erect, sword-shaped leaves and branched spikes of showy, funnel-shaped flowers in summer

Some consider the plant invasive as although viable seed is produced, most reproduction is vegetative from underground corms and long creeping rhizomes; small fragments of root readily become established in the wild

Montbretia at Amhuinnsuidhe - Isle of Harris
Kindney Vetch - Hebrides Wildflowers

Montbretia Spreading Especially Coastal Areas
Spread can then be rapid, resulting in dense stands at the exclusion of all other vegetation. It’s increasing rapidly and is especially frequent in the west and around coasts as here in The Western Isles.

Montbretia named after Coquebert de Montbret

This plant was named after Coquebert de Montbret (1780-1801) who was a French botanist who accompanied Napoleon when he invaded Egypt in 1798 and who died there at the age of 20

Common Crocosmia or Montbretia - is a Cross Species
Montbretia was bred by crossing Crocosmia pottsii (a species that grows near streams) with Crocosmia aurea (a woodland species).

All this might explain why Montbretia like it here on the islands where there ia a little shade and lots of water and organic matter and nutrients

Montbretia - Crocosmia - Hebrides Flora
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