Plants in the Garden: Crocosmia Star of the East invasive?
Started by: Diane Whitehead
Vic Aspland reports it is so in the June 2010 Alpine GardenerGo to latest contribution by Russell Beeson, 19 January 2011, 10:03. Go to bottom of this page.
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I wonder if the person who is redoing his entire bed, including trees and rhododendrons, in order to remove his rampageous Crocosmia Star of the East, really does have that cultivar?
I once bought a packet of mixed Crocosmia, with a colourful photo promising a lot of beautiful large-flowered plants. What I got was some
typical montbretia, plus a plant that spread and spread. I have no idea if it was a named form, since it never identified itself with a bloom. I eventually got it all dug out.
That is the only running crocosmia I have encountered. All the others, including Star of the East, form clumps.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
My Star of the East is also clump forming, I wish it was more "invasive" in my garden. It did however surprise me by also surviving in a pot outside unprotected at temperatures of -17, as well as in the garden.
My 'Star of the East' is very invasive - I haven't got round to digging up the bed yet but really ought to! It was bought as a flowering plant and certainly looked true to name but once planted out it stopped flowering and started spreading....
The packet of corms you bought were almost certainly Dutch rubbish. It is not possible to identify the plant in your photograph without a seeing it full face. There are probably more wrongly named crocosmias in cultivation that correctly named ones. C.Star of the East is a robust cultivar raised in 1912 by George Davison, and grows openly by producing several robust stolons, which send up shoots 2-3" away from the parent corm, which as they develop form new corms. It inherits this growth habit from one of its parents C.aurea. It does not clump tightly but spreads slowly. Cultivars that clump readily have more genes of C.pottsii the other original parent in them, which increases at a much faster rate, and the Dutch breeders tend to use it to produce cultivars that increase rapidly in tight clumps, and soon flower less well.
I planted a Crocosmia under this name in my very light soil a few years ago, and soon regretted it. After a few years the clump became very congested and flowering declined, but at the same time the clump was rapidly spreading in all directions. I dug it all out, but it has been reappearing over and over again. I think it will be some years before it is all gone. At its best it is quite a handsome plant, but I would recommend it only for those wuth plenty of space for its invasive habits.