which watsonia is this?

jacqueline9CAFebruary 20, 2012

A plant that I think is a watsonia has planted itself in my garden, out by the street next to the gutter (this happens a lot - seeds get washed down the gutter in the Winter, and the storm water sometimes floods that bed).

When I tried to look it up, all of the pictures of watsonias had different colored flowers, and were much fancier. This one is orange, with small tubular flowers, and large iris shaped leaves. It is growing all over our town - in vacant lots, beside the road, etc. There is one lot that is completely covered with hundreds of them. So, it seems to me it is some sort of common wild one? I am just trying to identify it. It spreads - I just noticed that the original clump is now three. I will take out two of them, but I do like the very early (blooming now in Feb) color, and the verticality.

Here is a picture of one that looks like it:

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The bloom shapes don't look like any of my Watsonia - perhaps it's Crocosmia.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:32PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Very probably Crocosmia - and is easily moved by running water. Particularly the corms. They happily grow in shingle on river banks.

The corms are like a string of beads in the ground and be quite hard to dig out as they can go down for at least six inches.

Watsonias tend to clump more and have bigger flowers. The leaves can reach 36" long. More likely to flower in spring. Crocosmia is more likely to flower in summer and autumn for us. (Currently flowering here - late Feb - and it's late summer.)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:45PM
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I found it! I was perusing a Van Bourgondien catalogue, and there was a picture of the plant I was trying to identify! I looked it up, and you are correct - it is a wild crocosmia called crocosmia mansonorum. It is really blooming right now - all over our town, in almost every vacant lot and next to the street everywhere, where I assume the bulbs were washed by water going down the gutters. This makes sense, as our climate is Mediterranean, which I assume is similar to its native climate in South Africa. Mine had already spread in that bed to two other places, so I dug them up and just left the original patch. I am sure next year there will be more of them! I like them because here they bloom in the very early Spring - mine started at the end of Feb, and continued through all of March and is still blooming now in the middle of April.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Chasmanthe floribunda

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:03PM
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