They have colourful inflorescences of 4 to 20 vivid red and orange subopposite flowers. The terminal inflorescence can have the form of a cyme or a raceme.
They are commonly known in the United States as coppertips or falling stars, and in the United Kingdom as montbretia. Other names, for hybrids and cultivars, include antholyza, and curtonus. The genus name is derived from the Greek words krokos, meaning “saffron”, and osme, meaning “odor” – from the fact that dried leaves of these plants emit a strong smell like that of saffron [a spice derived from Crocus – another genus belonging to the Iridaceae] – when immersed in hot water