Crocosmia pottsii (Baker) N.E.Br., Trans. Roy. Soc. South Africa 20: 264 (1932).

See below:

CrocosmiaPottsii Bot Mag 6722.jpggardenillustrate1880CrocosmiaPottsii.jpg


Homotypic Names:
  • Montbretia pottsii Baker, Gard. Chron., n.s., 8: 424 (1877).
  • Tritonia pottsii (Baker) Benth. ex Baker, Bot. Mag. 109: t. 6722 (1883).

  • Basionym/Replaced Synonym

Heterotypic Synonyms:
  • Gladiolus pottsii McNab ex Baker, Gard. Chron., n.s., 8: 424 (1877), not validly publ.


Montbretia pottsii Baker, Gard. Chron.,n.s., 8: 424 (1877). MONTBRETIA POTTSII, Baker, n. sp. This is one of the most valuable additions that has been made for a long time to our stock of hardy Cape bulbs. It flowers in August, and was introduced by Mr. G. H. Potts, of Lasswade, near Edinburgh. In popular language the genus Montbretia may be defined as consisting of those Irids which possess the habit and small scariose spathe-valves of Ixia, in combination with the irregular funnel-shaped perianth and parallel unilateral stamens of Gladiolus. For a Montbretia the present plant is unusually large, as it reaches a height of 3 or 4 feet. The individual flowers are about the same size as in the short-tubed species of Montbretia already known, such as securigera and lineata. In colour they remind one most of those of Tritonia (Crocosma) aurea, Botanical Magazine^ t. 4335, being a bright deep yellow, tinted on the outside with red. These Montbretias are amongst the least fugacious in their flowers of all the Iridaceae,and as the present plant bears four or five gradually centripetal spikes of twelve to twenty flowers each, it keeps in flower over a long time. Mr. M'Nab has cultivated it successfully on his rockeries at Edinburgh, and distributed it under the name above cited. For the specimen from which the present description was drawn up I am indebted to Max Leichtlin, Esq., who has grown it in the open air at Baden-Baden. Altogether I venture to predict with confidence that it will become a popular favourite.

Bulbs globose, connected by a thread-like rhizome. Stem 3—4 feet long, including the inflorescence, which reaches about half way down. Leaves about four in a distichous rosette at the base of the stem, and two others higher up, below the inflorescence, linear-ensiform, moderately firm in texture, green, glabrous, reaching a length of l 1/2 — 2 feet, and a breadth of 1/2 — 3/4 inch. Panicle 1 1/2 foot long, consisting of 3—4 lateral branches in addition to the end one, the lower ones subtended by reduced leaves half a foot long. Spikes 6 — 9 inches long, equilateral, 2 inches broad when expanded, 12 — 20 flowered. Spathe-valves 1/4 inch long, entire, or faintly emarginate at the tip, green in the lower part, purplish and scariose in the upper half, the outer valve lanceolate, the inner oblong. Ovary green, oblong, ^ inch long. Perianth funnel-shaped, an inch long, deep bright yellow on the outside flushed with brick-red, the sub-equal oblong obtuse segments about half as long as the tube, which is cylindrical at the base, without any calli, dilated suddenly at the middle, especially on the upper side, to a diameter of 3 inch at the throat, genitalia included. Stamens unilateral, inserted half way up the tube; filaments filiform, bright yellow, 1/3 inch long; anthers linear-oblong, basifixed, the same colour as the stamens. Style protruded from the perianth, with three branches 1/12 inch long, which are entire and cuneate at the ti'p and stigmatose round the outer edge- J. G. Baker.
Tritonia pottsii (Baker) Benth. ex Baker,Bot. Mag. 109: t.6722 (1883).
This is one of the most interesting and valuable new bulbous plants that have been introduced of late years. It was brought into the Edinburgh Botanic Garden several years ago by Mr. G. H. Potts, of Lasswade, after whom it was named by the late Mr. Macnab, who distributed it freely. We do not know from what district in South Africa it came, and have never received at Kew any wild specimens. It flowers in August, and as it dies down to the ground in winter, it can easily be given all the protection it needs, and is practically hardy in our English climate. As one plant will produce fifty or a hundred flowers, and it will go on flowering for a month, it is a fine acquisition to our stock of bright-flowered hardy bulbs. Recently it has been hybridized by Monsieur Victor Lemoine, of Nancy, with its near ally Tritonia (Crocosma) aurea, figured Bot. Mag. tab. 4335, and a third fine plant is the result, which has been figured in the Belgique Horticole for 1881, tab. 14, under the name of Montbretia crocosmwflora. Our present plate was drawn from a plant that flowered at Kew in the summer of 1881.
The Garden 1880 THE GARDEN FLORA.


For the introduction of this fine hardy Cape bulb we are indebted to Mr. G. H. Potts, of Fettes Mount, Lasswade, near Edinburgh, who has had it growing in his garden for many years, having received a small bulb of it along with many others as Tritonia aurea, a name which the late Mr. M'Nab was the flrst to dispute. It is a plant, as the annexed plate will sliow, which is well worth attention, both for the decoration of the outdoor garden and the conservatory. Mr. Pott's gardener states that "anyone wdio had seen plants of this Montbretia at Fettes Mount in the months of August and September last could not have failed to admire them, bearing, as they did, from three to five flower spikes, each clothed with from twelve to twenty flowers, which kept in perfection for a long time. As regards cultivation, if an opportunity occurs during the month of November or December, after the foliage has died down and tlie bulbs are matured for the season, a few may be taken up au;l separated and put in pots for conservatory decoration. Any bulbs out of the ground may then be planted and covered with some 2 in. or 3 in. of equal parts of well mixed leaf-mould and sandy loam, to which may be added a third part of decomposed eow manure, and, in case of severe weather, a light covering of straw will prevent the bulbs from being uplifted by the frost. As soon as the season seems promising, remove the straw and top-dress with a light covering of sand, and give, if the season is dry, an occasional watering with liquid manure, taking care not to touch the foliage with it or it will become discoloured. For conservatory decoration, plant in fine rich mould in 6-in. pots, treating them almost as one would Gladioli. Keep them moist after they have begun to grow, and give them occasional waterings with liquid manure. Under such treatment they will flower beautifully in July." For a Montbretia the plant is unusually large, as it often reaches a height of 3 ft. or 4 ft. The flowers remind one most of those of Tritonia aurea. Mr. M'Nab cultivated it successfully on his rockeries at Edinburgh. Altogether we may venture to predict that it will become a popular plant.

-- BobPries - 2014-03-10
Topic revision: r5 - 09 May 2020, BobPries
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