Crocosmia aurea (Pappe ex Hook.) Planch.
subsp. aurea

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Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Rd in Bunga Forest.

Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea

Photo: Bart Wursten
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

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Synonyms: Tritonia aurea Pappe ex Hook.
Common names: Montbretia (English) Valentine flower (English)
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native
Perennial herb, normally 60-100 cm, growing from corms and spreading by underground stolons. Stems strongly arched, often branched. Leaves several, linear-lanceolate, shorter or longer than the stem. Inflorescence a terminal 7-12-flowered spike. Flowers usually directed towards the ground, bright orange-red, sometimes with darker markings at the base of the tepals; tepals narrowly elliptic, 12-38 mm long, spreading horizontally. Capsules depressed globose, 12-15 mm in diameter, bright orange-red on the inside. and spreading by underground stolons.
Notes: Could be confused with the commonly cultivated hybrid known as Montbretia, namely Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora (Lemoine) N.E. Br. (C. pottsii (Macnab ex Baker) N.E. Br. × C. aurea (Pappe ex Hook.) Planch.). However, although Montbretia does escape into the wild in other parts of the world, there is no evidence that it does so in Zimbabwe.
Derivation of specific name: aurea: golden.
Habitat: In forest margins and clearings.
Altitude range: (metres) 1500 - 2000 m
Flowering time:Dec - Apr (-Jul)
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 204 - 205. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 309. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 17.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 127. As Crocosmia aurea

Goldblatt, P. (1993). Iridaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(4) Pages 49 - 51. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 92.

Moriarty, A. (1975). Wild Flowers of Malawi Purnell & sons Cape Town. Pages 11 - 12. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 110.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 83.

Other sources of information about Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea
Flora of Mozambique: Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea
Flora of Zambia: Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Crocosmia aurea
African Plant Database: Crocosmia aurea
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Crocosmia aurea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Crocosmia aurea
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Crocosmia aurea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Crocosmia aurea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Crocosmia aurea
JSTOR Plant Science: Crocosmia aurea
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Crocosmia aurea
Plants of the World Online: Crocosmia aurea
Tropicos: Crocosmia aurea
Wikipedia: Crocosmia aurea

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Crocosmia aurea subsp. aurea., retrieved 29 May 2024

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