Falling Stars, Pleated Leaves
shade; semi-shade; sun
sun; grassland; damp sun; wildlife bees butterflies insects birds; narrow spaces;
wetland; grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; bushveld
thicket; highveld; subtropical east coast; bushveld savanna
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This beautiful garden plant is the tallest and most vigorous of the Falling Stars. Well-established plants form large clumps and, at 1 m tall, produce an eye-popping display in summer. Flowers are bright red to dull orange, forming long 70 mm slightly curved tubes that hang in dense bunches from sturdy stems that reach well above the leaves from December to February. Leaves are pleated, 750 mm long and 60 mm wide, a diagnostic feature of this species. In the wild, they are found growing in damp grasslands, along streams, drainage lines and in marshes up to 1500 m. This deciduous species needs full sun and will grow in average garden soil, but does best in high rainfall areas, surviving a harsh frost. It requires no special care. Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga. Flowers are pollinated by sunbirds. The Crocosmia species are considered to be some of the best perennials for the summer-autumn border in the UK.