May 19, 2018
Crocus are a genus of hardy, flowering plants in the Iris family (Iridaceae). Comprised of approximately eighty species, Croci are native to the woodlands and meadows of Central and Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, extending across Central Asia into Western China. They are found rising up from sea level to alpine tundra. Grown from corms, Crocus were one of the first flowers brought to the new world, making their way to The Netherlands during the sixteenth century, and rapidly spreading their way across the rest of Europe.
A low-growing, clump-forming perennial, Croci are among the earliest spring flowers. In addition, there are varieties that bloom in late fall and early winter. Though there is somewhat of a variety of sizes, the tallest Crocus stands only six inches tall. Their cup-shaped blooms, which have three stamens and one stigma, tapers off into a narrow tube. Flowers can vary widely in color, however, white, yellow and lavender are most common. The plant’s grass-like leaves are marked with a central white stripe running its length.
Croci are a somewhat short-lived plant, and may need replanting every few years. They do best in the full sun, however will tolerate a partial sun. Crocus thrives in a neutral pH soil, around 6 or 7, but can be grown in most soil types. More important than a neutral pH, is a well-drained soil.
Although it is not essential to divide the corms, over time as the plant becomes more crowded, the blooms can become less prevalent. If so, simply divide the corms. Crocus survives and bloom best in locales with cold winters. Spring blooming Crocus should be planted early in the fall. Corms should be planted about four inches deep and two to four inches apart, with the pointy tip up.
If I am fortunate to have you view my photographs and you find the color saturation too much or the color schemes of the mats do not match either themselves or the photograph, please let me know via a comment. Being color-blind, what might look great to me might look like sh*t to everyone else!
Note: The leaves behind the Crocus belong to Daffodils. The much smaller, darker leaves, with the white stripe in the bottom of the photographs are from the Crocus.
Steven H. Spring