The Q&A Archives: What is Montbretia?

Question: I got some bulbs from a coworker that she calls Montbretia. She said full sun, plant 3" deep, and they spread quickly. They're about the size of freesia bulbs. I can't find this name anywhere. Can you help me figure out how hardy these are (overwinter in wet Seattle?), what season they bloom, and what colors they might be?

Answer: Montbretia is Tritonia. The plants grow from corms and are related to freesia, ixia, and sparaxis. They have narrow, sword-shaped leaves. Flower stems are branched and carry short, spikelike clusters of brilliant orange flowers in late summer. The corms can be left in the ground all winter. The foliage will die down with frost but new leaves will sprout again in the springtime. The plants naturalize easily and can become invasive. They make long-lasting cut flowers and are good in rock gardens, borders and pots. Montbretia is a popular and carefree plant in Pacific Northwest gardens.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Southern Comfort"