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Crocus spp.

Pronunciation: Kroh-kus
Family: Liliaceae (lily family)
Common Name: Crocus, dutch crocus, spring crocus
Plant Type:
  • perennial
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: A corm may produce one to five flowers, depending on the variety. Crocuses are small: the tepals may be 1 - 2 in (2. 5 5 cm) long and the tube up to 6 in (15 cm) long. The leaves are grasslike. Crocuses are classified as either spring blooming, with flowers produced before the leaves in early spring; or fall blooming, with flowers produced in fall, usually on plants in full leaf.
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: Cormlets can be divided off the main corm during dormancy. Crocus seeds should be harvested as soon as the seed capsule ripens and before it splits open. Plant the seeds immediately and leave them in containers for two years before planting out. Grown from seed, crocuses will not bloom until their third year. Some crocuses will self seed. Plant the corms of spring blooming crocuses in autumn, 3-4 in (7-10 cm) deep. Plant fall blooming crocuses in late summer.
Native to: Crocuses grow wild in north africa, the middle east, europe and temperate asia. They have been cultivated for centuries, and saffron crocus was used as a food coloring and flavoring at least as early as 1500 bc.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - crocuses are especially appealing in pots, and can be brought indoors when blooming. The dried stigmas of crocus sativus, the saffron crocus, are used in cooking for color and flavoring. Saffron crocus is a sterile cultivar whose exact origin is no longer knowncare: crocuses form new corms above the old ones each year, and eventually this forces the plant up out of the soil. Therefore, they should be dug up, dried, and replanted every 3-4 years. Do this when the plants are dormant. Mice and other rodents enjoy a good crocus snack whenever they get a chance. Many (but not all) crocuses come from the mediterranean region, and are adapted to cool, wet winters and dry summers. These species, which are dormant in summer, may not do well outside in temperate climates with abundant rainfall in summer. They usually do better in containers where they can be kept dry in summer. The accompanying table lists crocuses that are easiest to grow in wet-summer climates, those that require dry summers, and those that can survive in southern gardens.
Located in: Perennials
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