Flower Resource

Crocosmia – A Plant of the Iridaceae Family

The scientific name of this flower is Crocosmia croscosmiiflora and commonly called falling stars or copper tips. They belong to Iridaceae family. These plants are native to grasslands of Cape Floristic Region, South Africa but are cultivated all over the world. Summer is the blooming season of these flowers and they are available in colors red, yellow and orange. This plant has a sword shaped foliage and have showy bright colored funnel shaped flowers on their arching stems. They bloom from July to October.

The scientific name of the plant comes from the Greek word “krokos” that means saffron and “osme” that means smell. This actually means the dried flowers are produced alluding to the saffron scent. Crocosmia symbolizes confidence, feelings of love and deepest emotions.

Uses of Crocosmia

  • Crocosmia is used to make yellow dye.
  • The crushed leaves are inhaled to free the nasal passage when it is blocked due to head cold.
  • Leaf sap and a decoction of the corms are drunk to treat malaria and arthritic rheumatism in parts of Africa.
  • The flower yields a yellow dye and that’s why it is also used as a substitute for saffron.
  • It is ornamental and used in flower arrangements.

Interesting Facts

  • These dried flowers when placed in warm water, emits strong smell of saffron.
  • The diversity of its cultivar is enormous with more than 400 cultivars.
  • The first hybrids were produced by the French plant breeder named Victor Lemoine that is famously known as peonies and lilacs.
  •  The plant’s vibrant flowers attract hummingbirds.
  • The plant can grow up to 2 feet in height.
  • It is easy to grow and low maintenance plant.

Soil Needed

  • This plant requires fertile, moist and well drained soil of any Ph.
  • It can grow in wide range of conditions.
  • And it requires full sun to partial sun.

How to Plant?

  • Crocosmia should be planted in spring after all danger of frost is gone.
  • Plant your Crocosmia corms 2 to 3 inches deep and space them 6 to 8 inches apart.
  • The pointy end should be facing up and water the planting area thoroughly.
  • To protect the crocosmia in winter add a thick, dry, organic mulch to keep the soil moist.
  • You must choose a spot that is sheltered from cold drying winds.

Maintenance and Care

  • You must water the crocosmia once in week during the growing season so that the soil remains evenly moist.
  • To encourage new blooms remove spent blooms and cut the stems back to where they meet the leaves.
  • Cut the foliage almost to the ground level when the leaves wither and die.
  • Once the blooming period is over jeep the leaves so the plant can put its energy back in to the bulb when it grows in next summer’s blooming.
  • You can propagate the plant by division in spring just before the growth starts.
  • The plant should be divided every 3 to 4 years to increase the flower production and restore vigor.




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