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Montbretia - Invasive Species Information

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Reproduction: Small fragments of the root can regrow and multiply into a dense mat of vegetation.

Montbretia - (Crocosmia x crocosmliflora)

Montbretia Flower


Montbretia is considered an invasive alien pest and poses a risk to natural flora in the same way as Japanese knotweed or Himalayan balsam. It is a horticultural hybrid which was developed in France for ornamental purposes in the 1880s. 


Montbretia has two methods of reproduction: fertilisation of the flowers by insects (in some closely-related Crocosmia plants, by wind or birds) to produce seeds; and vegetative reproduction, where each plant produces stolons, or runners, that form new plants when roots and leaves grow from nodes.


Vegetative growth by stolons ensures local colonisation which can choke off other plants. Each individual montbretia grows from a corm, developing after the successful germination of seeds and the growth of the first colonising plant. It is likely that the casual disposal of corms, rather than the spread of seeds, allowed montbretia (coppertips) to be such a successful coloniser of natural habitats, frequently forming large and vivid clumps on embankments and in coastal regions

How To Identify Montbretia?

Leaves:  3cm wide, upright, flat, spear shaped and bright green, Smooth, upright leaves, usually present from spring to autumn; dead brown leaves are present throughout winter.  


Flower: up to 5 cm long and coloured deep orange. Blooms between July and September. 

Montbretia - Crocosmia x crocosmiflora ID Guide

Montbretia - Crocosmia x crocosmliflora ID Guide

Montretia Colm, Seeds, Leaves and Flowers
Montbretia - Crocosmia x crocosmiflora seeds
Montbretia - (Crocosmia x crocosmliflora) leaves and flowers

Montretia Colm, Seeds, Leaves and Flowers

Why Is Montbretia A Problem?

Forms thick clumps which can displace indigenous specifies and reduce biodiversity.

Native plants and animals evolve together, forming close dependencies and relationships which break down when one is removed or replaced. 


The preservation of native plants and animals is crucial to maintaining the variety of life that make Ireland's woodlands and wild places so rich and diverse.

What Is Montbretia - (Crocosmia x crocosmliflora)?

Habitat: Terrestrial. Hedgerows, road verges, banks of lakes and rivers, beside woods and waste land, widely grown in gardens.
Distribution in Ireland: localised distribution in the wild but with many occurrences along coastal areas throughout Ireland
Status: Established
Family name: Iridaceae

Common name: Coppertip

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...


Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50.

  1. American Skunk-CabbageLysichiton americanus

  2. Brazilian Giant-RhubarbGunnera manicata

  3. Broad-Leaved RushJuncus planifolius

  4. Cape PondweedAponogeton distachyos

  5. Cord-GrassesSpartina (all species and hybrids)

  6. Curly Waterweed - Lagarosiphon major

  7. Dwarf Eel-GrassZostera japonica

  8. FanwortCabomba caroliniana

  9. Floating PennywortHydrocotyle ranunculoides

  10. Fringed Water-LilyNymphoides peltata

  11. Giant HogweedHeracleum mantegazzianum

  12. Giant KnotweedFallopia sachalinensis

  13. Giant-RhubarbGunnera tinctoria

  14. Giant SalviniaSalvinia molesta

  15. Himalayan BalsamImpatiens glandulifera

  16. Himalayan KnotweedPersicaria wallichii

  17. Hottentot-FigCarpobrotus edulis

  18. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica

  19. Large-Flowered WaterweedEgeria densa

  20. Mile-a-Minute WeedPersicaria perfoliata

  21. New Zealand PigmyweedCrassula helmsii

  22. Parrots FeatherMyriophyllum aquaticum

  23. Red AlgaGrateloupia doryphora

  24. RhododendronRhododendron ponticum

  25. SalmonberryRubus spectabilis

  26. Sea-Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides

  27. Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

  28. Three-Cornered LeekAllium triquetrum

  29. WakameUndaria pinnatifida

  30. Water ChestnutTrapa natans

  31. Water FernAzolla filiculoides

  32. Water LettucePistia stratiotes

  33. Water-PrimroseLudwigia (all species)

  34. WaterweedsElodea (all species)

  35. WireweedSargassum muticum

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