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What Is This Orange-red Bloom From SW Viriginia

Crocosmia - Montbretia

Crocosmia - Montbretia

Ask the Expert: Do you know what this flower is?
This flower appeared in my mom’s garden in SW Virgina and is in bloom now. She does not remember planting it but we don’t think it is a wildflower either. Any ideas? Jerusha

Plant Expert Reply:

The plant is called Crocosmia aurea, commonly known as Montbretia.  It is a clump-forming cormous perennial that is often used as a cut flower.  I have a variety of this in my garden.  Mine is called ‘Lucifer’, but I’m not sure which type you have. I sometimes cut the blooms and use them with other flowers from my garden in an arrangement for my kitchen.  It is definitely a keeper.  In fact, Monbretia is one of the few perennials my husband says is a must in any garden.

Although Crocosmia will germinate from seed, the only way I have every started the plant in my garden is with the corms.  Crocosmia is nice perennial that comes up every year with out any extra care and the clump will increase slightly each year.  It will bloom off and on June through August. I make sure mine is mulched going into winter and fertilize it occasionally during the growing season.  I basically ignore this plant and it still performs for me year after year.  So enjoy this mysterious flower gift.

Perennial Identification – Who Is This Orange Visitor

Ask the Expert: what is this plant? Hello. This orange plant has come up in my perennial garden. I don’t know what it is. I get plants from friends and stopped at a “free perennials, you dig” site one day this summer, and I’m not sure who gave me tis plant. The foliage looks like an iris but the flower looks like a columbine. It has just started flowering this past week. I live in NH. Thanks.

Orange Crocosmia Photo

Autumn Wedding Bouquet Flowers To Consider

Featured Fall Wedding BouquetsOctober has become an increasingly popular month for weddings, and that’s no surprise, given that the weather in most parts of the country is usually dry and cool. Brides-to-be can be relatively certain that their guests and members of the wedding party won’t be dodging raindrops, or worrying about becoming hot and sticky in their formal clothing. Autumn is also a great time for selecting wedding bouquet flowers, with an abundant harvest of floral products, berries, and foliages readily available to your local retail florist.


Consider the versatile montbretia (or, botanically, Crocosmia). This is a delicate flower which consists of a series of small individual, tubular florets arranged as a comb along the upper portion of a long, slim stem (similar to a freesia). Montbretia flowers run the range of colors from yellow-orange to brick red — prefect for the season — and lend an airy and colorful wispiness to a wedding bouquet. They can also be had in their more mature stage, after the blossoms have gone to seed and have formed small rounded pods along the comb – a textural delight.

Hypericum Berry

Another popular berry which is appearing in autumn bouquets is the hypericum (the botanical name for St. John’s Wort). The small, waxy, egg-shaped fruits occur in clusters at the ends of their slender stems and provide a lovely accent of texture and tone. Hypericum’s usual color is a raisin brown, but newer hybrid varieties include shades of yellow, green, red, orange, and salmon pink.

Fall Roses

Roses will always be a popular choice for wedding bouquet flowers, and some of the best picks for the fall season include:

  • Leonidas (a bi-color chocolate brown)
  • Terra Cotta (burnt orange)
  • Star 2000 (a strong coral-orange)
  • Black Magic (the darkest, velvet burgundy)
  • Hocus Pocus (a small variety with dark burgundy petals flecked with cute yellow spots)
  • Mambo (an tangerine-orange spray variety)
  • Konfetti (deep yellow with a red-orange blaze on the edge)
  • Red Berlin (tomato- red)
  • Sari (golden apricot-orange)

Gloriosa lily

Growing in popularity and availability is the exotic-looking Gloriosa lily. Imported from Holland, this delicate flower has reflexed, dark red petals edged in a thin, wavy yellow margin. Popping out of a wedding bouquet, the Gloriosa is a flower with a touch of mystery and drama with it’s sophisticated form and unusual character. Try combining them with mango-colored callas or rusty-red freesias.

Rustic Dried Grasses & Other Fall Floral Accessories

For autumn texture, add dried grasses such as wheat or rye to the bouquet. Or choose from a variety of fall-toned foliages, such as copper beech, croton leaves, or vine maple. The velvety brown backsides of the southern magnolia can add a sumptuous element of class. Consider including bark-textured materials such as lotus pods or cinnamon sticks for interesting contrast.

Fall is a time of rich, warm hues and bounteous textures, and the choices are virtually endless. The autumnal pallette of analagous colors – from burgundy to red to orange to golden yellow – is well represented in the blossoms of the season, which play beautifully against the fabrics of today’s popular bridesmaids’ dresses. Combined with textural materials such as grasses, small fruits, and seed pods, a skilled floral designer will have no trouble creating memorable wedding bouquets with flowers which are plentiful now. Call your professional florist to schedule a personal consultation and reap the harvest of the season.