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Dutch Crocus Crocus

Phonetic Spelling
KROH-kus
Description

Common crocus is a genus in the Iridaceae (iris) family, comprising about 90 species of deciduous, perennial, early spring-blooming corms. They are native to the Mediterranean and eastern Europe to northwest China. Crocus is the middle English word for “saffron plant,” as saffron comes from the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus

Crocus need full sun to partial shade and gritty, well-drained soils; sandy loam with composted organic matter is best. Avoid heavy clay. They tolerate drought, but keep them moist during the growing season. Keep the foliage intact for about six weeks after the plants bloom, as the leaves are generating food for next year's floral production. Propagation is by division, which is recommended every four years. 

The flowers bloom in early spring, typically closing at night or on cloudy days and opening up with the morning sun, with many hybrids available. To plant from corms, plant in the fall about 2.5 inches deep and 2 inches apart, 35 to 70 corms per square foot.  

The diminutive crocus, less than 6 inches tall and wide at maturity, are often planted in mass in lawns, borders, naturalized areas, along pathways and in rock and woodland gardens. The corms can be cooked as a vegetable. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Crocus are damaged by rodents. Squirrels seem particularly adept at locating, digging up, and eating newly planted corms.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for plant identification courses offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

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Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#corms#lawn alternative#mass planting#small mammals#cpp#deer resistant#groundcover#rock garden#fantz#flowers early spring#walkway planting#HS302#ebh#ebh-g#woodland garden#lawn planting
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#drought tolerant#perennials#corms#lawn alternative#mass planting#small mammals#cpp#deer resistant#groundcover#rock garden#fantz#flowers early spring#walkway planting#HS302#ebh#ebh-g#woodland garden#lawn planting
  • 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:
    Corms are consumed 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
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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