Curtonus: Aunt Eliza, pleated leaves

Height 1.2m (4ft)

Planting distance 23cm (9in)

Flowers in late summer and early autumn

Rich, well-drained soil

Sunny site

Corms available in autumn

Curtonus paniculatus (syn. Antholyza paniculata) is the only species in this South African genus. It is closely related to Crocosmia species, but is taller, up to 1.2m (4ft), and distinguished by its pleated, sword-shaped and mid green leaves and by the zigzagging flower stems that carry orange-red trumpets in late summer and autumn.

Once established, curtonus is hardy in all but the coldest regions and naturalizes well. Grow it in sunny mixed borders, among low shrubs or at the foot of a south-facing wall. The flowers are good for cutting.

Cultivation

Plant the corms in early autumn, setting them 15cm (6in) deep in groups of three or five spaced 23cm (9in) apart. They will grow in any well-drained soil but thrive on plenty of organic matter and in full sun, with some shelter. After flowering, trim the faded stems back but leave the foliage as protection during winter. Cut it back to the ground in spring.

Propagation

Lift crowded clumps in mid autumn, separate and replant the corms, taking care that each division is complete with corm, roots and leaf cluster.

Pests and diseases

Trouble free.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Curtonus: Aunt Eliza, pleated leaves

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