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Crocus

Phonetic Spelling
KROH-kus
Description

Crocus is a genus comprising about 90 species of perennial, early spring blooming corms. The flowers bloom in early spring, typically closing at night or on cloudy days and opening up with the morning sun, with many popular hybrids available. The plant foliage, basal, grass-like leaves with a central white stripe, turns yellow as plants go dormant several weeks after bloom. The plant is often used in rock gardens, beds, ground covers, lawns, and woodland gardens. It tolerates drought, but you should keep it moist during the growing season.

Crocus prefer full sun to partial shade and gritty, well-drained soil, sandy loam with composted organic matter. It will not grow in full shade. Avoid heavy clay. To plant from corms, plant in the fall about 2.5 inches deep and 2 inches apart, 35 to 70 corms per square foot. Plan to divide the corms about every 4 years. Note that plants are injured at temperatures below 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C).

Yellow-flowered crocuses and smaller sized crocuses belong to other species, but all have ephemeral flowers which last about a day before drying and withering. Crocus flower colors vary enormously, although lilac, mauve, yellow, and white are the most common. Keep the foliage intact for about 6 weeks after blooms, as the leaves generating food for next year's floral production. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Crocus are susceptible to numerous pest and disease problems, including small mammals. Squirrels seem particularly adept at locating, digging up, and eating newly planted corms.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

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#bulb#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#corm#lawn alternative#lawn#cpp#groundcover#woodland#rock gardens#fantz#early spring flowers#HS302#ebh#ebh-g
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennial#corm#lawn alternative#lawn#cpp#groundcover#woodland#rock gardens#fantz#early spring flowers#HS302#ebh#ebh-g
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Crocus
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, to North West China
    Wildlife Value:
    damaged by rodents
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    deer resistant
    Edibility:
    Corms can be cooked as a vegetable.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 2 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Cup
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Blooms in early spring (February/March). Flowers are white to purple or striped, salverform-campanulate, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Narrow, perianth tube emerges from a sheath, expanding to 6 lobes in 2 overlapping whorls; lobes obtuse; styles 3-lobed, yellow-orange, widened and fimbriate at tips.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Linear with a distinctive pale silver-white central stripe, < 1/4" wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Deer
    Drought