The prevailing greenness of native vegetation and farmland on the West Coast is broken by the orange-flowered perennial montbretia, which is widespread on roadside verges, as shown here near the township of Hector, north of Westport. Montbretia was probably introduced from England, where it is grown in gardens, but it originally comes from South Africa. It was not recorded on the West Coast before 1930, but obviously likes the climate because it has spread widely.
Montbretia belongs to the botanical genus Crocosmia. There are several different species, but most of the montbretia found in the wild is probably the commonest species, Crocosmia crocosmiflora.
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Photograph by Simon Nathan
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