Open the Advanced Search

Potts Montbretia

Crocosmia pottsii

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Iridaceae (Iris)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland, woodland.

Orange, 6 petals
Tubular orange-red flowers which alternate along the zigzagged stems in an unbranched, one-sided, arching spike. The petal lobes are roughly half as long as the petal tube. The petal tube widens abruptly, unlike the similar looking species Montbretia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora). Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a many-seeded, 3-angled, oblong to globular capsule. The small seeds are winged.
A clump-forming, cormous perennial plant with long and linear, sword-like leaves. All of the leaves are basal and are similar to that of an Iris (hence this plant is in the Iris family). Garden escape species.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Crocosmia pottsii, also known as Potts' montbretia, is a species of the perennial herb that belongs to the Iridaceae family. It is native to South Africa and it is known for its bright and showy flowers. The flowers are usually orange, red or yellow and they typically bloom in late summer to early autumn. The leaves are long, narrow, and grass-like, arranged in a basal rosette. The plant can grow up to 60cm tall.

Crocosmia pottsii is a popular ornamental plant and is widely cultivated for its showy flowers and easy cultivation. It is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of soils and growing conditions, it prefers well-drained soil and full sun. It is often used in borders, rock gardens, and as a cut flower. This species is considered as a rare one, and it might not be available in all nurseries, but it's a beautiful plant that adds color and interest to any garden.


Potts Montbretia, also known as Crocosmia pottsii, is a stunning plant that belongs to the Iris family. This perennial plant is native to South Africa and is widely cultivated for its strikingly beautiful flowers and ease of cultivation. It is named after Richard Potts, who was a British botanist and plant collector.

Potts Montbretia is a relatively small plant, usually growing up to 60 cm in height. It has narrow, green leaves that form a clump at the base of the stem. The stem is topped with a vibrant cluster of tubular flowers that range in color from bright red-orange to yellow, with a dark red or brown center. The flowers bloom in mid to late summer and are a favorite among gardeners and hummingbirds alike.

One of the things that make Potts Montbretia so appealing is its ability to adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. It can thrive in full sun to partial shade and in a variety of soils, as long as they are well-draining. This makes it an ideal plant for a wide range of garden styles, from traditional cottage gardens to modern minimalist landscapes.

Another benefit of Potts Montbretia is that it is relatively easy to propagate. The plant produces offsets that can be separated from the mother plant and replanted elsewhere in the garden. This makes it a cost-effective way to increase the number of plants in your garden or share them with friends.

Potts Montbretia is also known for its low maintenance requirements. Once established, it requires very little watering, except during periods of drought. It also doesn't require much fertilization and is relatively pest and disease resistant. This makes it an excellent choice for gardeners who want to spend less time maintaining their garden and more time enjoying it.

In addition to its ornamental qualities, Potts Montbretia also has some interesting cultural and medicinal uses. In South Africa, where it is native, the plant is used by traditional healers to treat a variety of ailments, including stomach problems and headaches.

Potts Montbretia is also popular among beekeepers as it produces nectar-rich flowers that attract bees and other pollinators. This can help to support local ecosystems and contribute to the overall health of the environment.

If you're considering adding Potts Montbretia to your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. While the plant is relatively low maintenance, it can spread quickly and may become invasive if not managed properly. To prevent this, it's important to remove any dead or damaged foliage and to regularly thin out the plant by removing offsets.

It's also worth noting that while Potts Montbretia is generally considered safe, the plant does contain toxins that can cause skin irritation and other allergic reactions. If you're working with the plant or handling its flowers, be sure to wear gloves and take other precautions to protect yourself.

Potts Montbretia is also an excellent choice for cut flowers. The flowers can last up to two weeks in a vase, making them a great addition to any floral arrangement. When using Potts Montbretia in a floral display, be sure to cut the flowers early in the morning when the stems are fully hydrated and avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near sources of heat.

Another interesting aspect of Potts Montbretia is that it is often used in hybridization to create new and unique varieties of the plant. This has led to the development of several popular cultivars, including 'Lucifer', which has bright red-orange flowers, and 'Emily McKenzie', which has golden-yellow flowers.

Overall, Potts Montbretia is a versatile and beautiful plant that can add a range of benefits to your garden. Whether you're interested in its ornamental, cultural, or medicinal qualities, this plant is sure to provide years of enjoyment and beauty. Just be sure to keep an eye on its growth and take precautions to prevent it from becoming invasive.

Facts about Potts Montbretia

Here are some facts and a summary about Potts Montbretia, also known as Crocosmia pottsii:

  • Potts Montbretia is a perennial plant that belongs to the Iris family and is native to South Africa.
  • The plant grows up to 60 cm in height and produces clusters of tubular flowers that range in color from bright red-orange to yellow.
  • Potts Montbretia is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions and requires little maintenance once established.
  • The plant is relatively easy to propagate and is a popular choice among gardeners and beekeepers.
  • Potts Montbretia has cultural and medicinal uses in South Africa and is also used in hybridization to create new varieties of the plant.
  • The plant should be managed properly to prevent it from becoming invasive and to protect against its toxins that can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

In summary, Potts Montbretia is a stunning and versatile plant that can bring a range of benefits to your garden. With its vibrant colors, ease of cultivation, and adaptability to different growing conditions, it is a popular choice among gardeners and beekeepers. However, it is important to manage the plant properly and take precautions to protect against its toxins. Overall, Potts Montbretia is an excellent addition to any garden and is sure to provide years of enjoyment and beauty.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map