Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’ is a little-known late summer flowering plant. In my zone 5 garden it starts flowering around mid-August for about a month. The yellow-orange flowers add quite a sparkle in a garden when most perennials are starting to shut down for the year.
Crocosmia ‘George Davison’ is a hybrid between C. aurea and C. pottsii that was registered in 1900. The common name for plants of this cross is montbretia, which was a genus name that is no longer in use. The term is incorrectly used for any type of crocosmia. Other common names include coppertips and falling stars. Both of the parent species have native habitats along wooded stream banks, but George Davison is usually grown in full sun and drier conditions.
Perhaps the most popular crocosmia is Crocosmia x Curtonus ‘Lucifer’, the result of a cross between Crocosmia masoniorum × Crocosmia paniculata. This plant grows to 3 or 4 feet, while the montbretias top out at about 2 feet. Several shorter so-called Lucifers are in the trade and they are probably montbretia types that have been mislabeled. Lucifer has more upright facing flowers due to the parent C. masoniorum, while montbretia flowers face downwards.
The plant develops cormlets along its roots and these are a good way to propagate them. Montretia are hybrids that are reluctant to form seed and if seed is formed, it is usually not viable.
Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’
Life Cycle: tuberous perennial
Height: 60 cm (2 ft)
Bloom Time: late summer
Natural Range: South Africa
Habitat: wooded river banks and grasslands
Synonyms: Crocosmia x latifolia, Montbretia x crocosmiiflora, Tritonia x crocosmiiflora
Cultivation Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘George Davison’
Light: full sun
Soil: well drained to moist
Water: prefers not to dry out
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9
Propagation: seed, division