crocuspfortommasianusgarnonswilliams

Form

Photo from Alpine House of RHS garden at Wisley from Chris Garnons-Williams on 18 February 2015.

crocuspflotommasianusgarnonswilliams

Matured Flower

Photo from Alpine House of RHS garden at Wisley from Chris Garnons-Williams on 18 February 2015.

crocuspfoltommasianusgarnonswilliams

Foliage

Photo from Alpine House of RHS garden at Wisley from Chris Garnons-Williams on 18 February 2015.

Plant Name

Crocus tommasinianus

Named after the botanist and politican, Muzio Giuseppe Spirito de' Tommasini, (1794 – 1879), born in Trieste (northeastern Italy), this crocus naturalises easily, spreading out to create a wonderful carpet of colour. 

Crocus is a Chaldean name meaning "saffron". In the wild, the plants are found over much of Europe, especially around the Mediterranean, in North Africa, and in Western Asia.

Common Name

Early Crocus

Soil

Sand, Chalk.

Sun Aspect

Full Sun (Full Sun for 4 hours a day)and Part Shade. Full Sun will make the blooms open fully.

Soil Moisture

Moist.

Plant Type

Perennial Corm

Height x Spread in inches (cms) (1 inch = 2.5 cms, 12" = 1 foot = 30 cms, 3 feet = 1 yard, 40 inches = 1 metre)

4 x 1 (10 x 3)

Foliage

The 8-9 inch long Grey-Green leaves are produced with the flowers.

Flower Colour in Month(s). Seed

Cobalt-Violet, outside Silvery Grey blooms in January-March with the leaves.

Comment

'If placed near the root crowns of deciduous shrubs, they'll get the sun they need in late winter & early spring when they bloom, then when they are dormant, the roots of the shrubs will soak up the water to keep the corms from steeping in too much moisture, so not at risk of rot.' from Paghat.

Good choice for deciduous woodland areas.

Crocuses provide an excellent and important source of early pollen for honeybees.

'Crocus tommasinianus reproduces rapidly by self-seeding and by corm offsets. Indeed, "tommies" naturalize with such ease that some gardeners complain of them after a few years, as the cormlets are much too tiny to ever sieve out of the soil, and wherever the tommies spread on their own, that's where they will always remain.' from Paghat.

The 2 natural divisions of Crocus are:-

  • 1. Autumn-flowering species and hybrids and
  • 2. Winter- and Spring-flowering species

and the relevant division is added to the Plant Description Page Title.

Crocus tommasinianus is native to Dalmatia; introduced before 1847. The nearly spherical corm has a finely reticulated tunic. The leaves are 8-9 inches long. The flowers reach a height of 6 inches and have a long white throat and the petals are pale lavender on the inside, with the outside more silvery grey. This is one that seeds freely.

Plant 2 inches (5 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil and 3 inches (8 cms) apart in September-November. If planting in clay soil, remove soil to 8 inches (20 cms) deep, work very sharp sand or gravel into the bottom of the area, and mix a little with the clay soil to bring the depth up to 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cms), before placing the bulbs in position and refilling with 50% soil 50% sharp sand.
Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders. They can also be planted 4 inches (10 cms) deep in 10 inch (25 cms) pots with 50% sharp sand and 50% Multipurpose Compost mixture.
Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil. The grass should be mown short a month before flowers appear and all mowing stopped whilst the crocus are in flower and leaf. The winter-flowering crocuses will have made their leaf growth and the foliage will have died down by the time in the spring when the grass needs cutting.
The larger-sized corms of particular varieties can be rested in the neck of a crocus vase so that the bottom of the corm is just above the water level, then place on a window-cill in the kitchen to give you the flowers before planting out in the garden when in leaf.

Available from
R.V. Roger and
Trecanna Nursery in the UK with
Bulborum Botanicum in France,
Bernd Schober in Germany,
Lambley Nursery in Australia and
Heirloom Crocus Bulbs in USA

crocuspflostommasinianusgeetee1

crocuspfoltommasinianusgeetee1

crocuspfortommasinianusgeetee1

Flowers. Photo from Gee Tee

Click on photos from Pacific Bulb Society

Foliage. Photo from Gee Tee

See photos and text from Paghat

Form. Photo from Gee Tee

crocuspflotommasinianusgeetee

 

 

Single Flower. Photo from Gee Tee

Single Leaf

Flowers

Crocus and Colchicum (Hardcover) by Edward A. Bowles written in 1924 is as complete about these bulbs as could be desired; and available from Amazon. This was revised in 1952 and a special edition created for the Garden Book Club in 1955 by its author, with the following excerpt:-

"The genus crocus deserves more attention than it has hitherto received in British Gardens.

Three only of its spring-flowering species have become general favourites, and there are still many good gardens in which autumnal and winter-flowering species have never been planted. Yet no other genus of hardy plants contains so many species and varieties that will flower in the open ground during the dullest months of the year.

By planting those now offered by nurserymen an unbroken succession of flowers may be obtained from mid-September until April showers bring such a wealth of other blossom that the gardener no longer needs the lowly crocus......., which the greater skill of the modern gardener, with his scree beds, properly drained rock gardens and the alpine house, should add to the number of early autumnal treasures.

The beautiful orange-yellow Crocus scharojanii and the creamy-white Crocus vallicola from the Caucasus, and some of the Eastern forms of the variable Crocus cancellatus, if successfully established in our gardens, would lengthen the Crocus season by their regular appearance early in August.

The first rains of September ought to bring up sheets of the almost blue flowers of Crocus speciosus in borders and shrubberies, as surely and as suddenly as they do the mushrooms. Any November or December morning on which the sun shines and the ground is free from snow should provide clumps of the lilac or white blossoms of Crocus laevigatus in every British garden that contains a wall, shrub or stone that can cut off the north or east wind from this fragrant species. New Year's Day will generally invite the making of a list of plants in flower if the Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi, Crocus imperati and Crocus korolkowii have been planted.

It is then a pity that in so many gardens the Crocus season only begins in the latter weeks of February with the Dutch Yellow, and ends a fortnight or so later with the garden-raised forms of Crocus vernus.

A large majority of species are hardy enough to thrive in the open, and are quite as easy to grow well as most flowers that are worth having. Any ground sufficiently well-tilled to grow a decent lettuce or onion should grow Crocuses to perfection. The best possible corner of a garden for growing a collection of Crocuses would be, to my mind, a portion of an old kitchen garden open to the south and with a wall or buildings on the north side.

Some, as for instance Crocus speciosus, Crocus pulchellus and Crocus nudiflorus in autumn, Crocus tomasinianus. Crocus aureus, Crocus vernus and others flowering in spring, can hold their own in mixed borders or shrubberies, but where choice and rare kinds are to be grown, it is safest to give up a long, narrow bed to their use. There, the leaves can mature naturally, instead of being overshadowed and choked by the growth of other plants. This too frequently happens where they are planted in rock gardens or herbaceous borders, and their owner ungratefully forgets the pleasure they gave earlier in the year when enjoying the luxurious way herbaceous plants spread over the bare spaces in late April and May. I need hardly warn the Crocus grower against plaitting the green leaves just at the time they are most active in building up the reserve of nutriment in the young corm, when the last thing one should wish is to hasten their decay and so shorten their period of usefullness.

The ideal soil would be one deeply tilled and rich in humus. It would not matter if it were somewhat heavy so long as it was well-drained, for most Crocuses like to send their roots down into rich, strong soil, if the corms are lying in a light and warm one. This means that the upper 8 or more inches should have coarse sand or sharp river grit mixed with it, and I have found it beneficial to both the plants and the grower if the corms are laid on an inch of sharp sand at planting time, and covered over with another inch-deep layer before the surface soil is replaced. It is a wonderful help at lifting time to find this well-marked stratum of sand with the corms lying in it.

Something between 4 and 6 inches seems to be the best depth for planting, but many species, especially Crocus aureus and Crocus speciosus, do not object to being much deeper.

However, as with deeply planted Tulips and Daffodils, though the plant remains vigorous very little if any increase is made. In collecting Wild Crocuses I have invariably found them unpleasantly deep, and by the number of their old tunics it was clear that they had been at that depth for some 12 or more seasons, and had never formed more than 1 corm each year. These, when grown in garden ground, multiplied rapidly by corm increase, so we may conclude that when it is desired to work up a stock of any variety it is best not to plant very deeply, and to lift the corms annually, cleaning away the old tunics and the withered portion of last year's corm from the base, if it will come away easily and without the use of force.

When a rich display of bloom is desired, the replanting can be put off till the third or even fourth year, but if it is noticed that the increase has been great enough to form congested tufts of leaves and the flowers are not as large as they should be, replanting should not be deferred beyond the following August. If planted in straight lines and liberally treated as to sand, it is an easy job to lift the dormant corms during a dry spell at the end of July or early in August, and a very pleasant one if the increase has been plentiful and the size of the new corms is satisfactory.

The autumn-flowering species should be replanted as soon as possible, as some - especially Crocus byzantinus, which prefers moist ground - begin rooting in mid-July. Spring-flowering kinds can be stored safely in a dry, cool place until October if necessary, but are safer and sounder if planted in August.

If it is necessary to plant different kinds close to one another, as in the case of new seedlings of which there are but 2 or 3 corms, it is a good plan to alternate those with well-marked differences of corm tunic, for instance, a coriaceous, or annulate form, next to one with a netted or parallel-fibred tunic. I have found this plan of great help in preventing their getting mixed at the next lifting. Slates may be buried between the plantings if it is desired to arrange the bed in square clumps instead of lines, but even with this aid to keeping clean stocks it is better that neighbouring forms should be distinct in their tunics, as then a seedling from the next division is easily detected.

 

Ancient Cultic Associations of Saffron Crocus written by Paghat

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Colchicum 'Harlekijn'

Overview of Late Winter's "Snow Crocuses" written by Paghat

A cold frame given over to Crocuses is a very desirable form of luxury, and the winter-flowering and extreme Southern species can be grown thus to greater perfection - Crocus hyemalis, Crocus tournefortii, Crocus cambessedesii and Crocus cyprius need protection, and most of those that flower in November, December and January produce more perfect blossoms under cover than in the open during spells of bad weather. An ordinary brick-sided frame, with a slight slope to the South and the surface of the soil not more than a foot above the natural level, is a delightful adjunct to the Crocus bed. The lights should be opened on all fine days, but closed at night and during very wet or cold weather from October to April. As soon as the leaves have turned yellow towards the end of May, the lights should be placed on the frame and raised slightly at the back for ventilation, until the seeds have been collected and the time has come for lifting the roots, which in a frame should be done annually.

The soil in a frame needs an occasional dressing with some fertiliser. I find bone meal is the easiest and safest, as it can be mixed with the soil when it is dug over for replanting, or sprinkled on the surface and watered in at any time, but is most effective while the roots are active. It acts quickly and will help to strengthen the leaves if applied early in autumn, and another but lighter dose in March at the close of the flowering season helps to feed the new corms.

Mr John Hoog, of Haarlem, tells me that he has found that ' the species of Crocus abhor any nitrogenous manure; basic slag and potash are what they want.'

As the former acts slowly, it should be applied to beds or frames with an eye to future benefit and before growth commences.

For herbaceous beds and shrubberies, the stronger-growing kinds can be planted in large clumps and drifts. Soil should be removed to the depth of 6 inches and the corms laid on the bottom of the hole at the space of an inch from each other. It is customary to plant Crocuses as edgings to borders in rather formal lines or circles, but a charming effect is produced by planting some hundreds of one kind under deciduous shrubs, or at the back of borders between clumps of strong-growing herbaceous plants that do not cover the ground with their leaves earlier than the middle of May, and thus allowing time for the Crocus leaves to mature in an open space.

The Dutch Yellow, in my opinion, never looks better than when planted in a generously planned drift, towards the back of a large border, or round the stem of a leafless Rhodendron molle, Deutzia, etc. All the florist's forms of Crocus vernus are suitable for this work, and Crocus tomasinianus once planted should be allowed to spread naturally by seed as far as it will under groups of roses or other summer-leafing shrubs. Crocus speciosus is the best of all the autumn-flowering Crocuses for wide plantings, and does not object to an occasional digging over of the bed and the consequent deep burial of the corms. Only the stronger growers should be tried in grass and none succeeds better than the forms of Crocus vernus and the Dutch Yellow. I have always advised that they should be kept separate, or at any rate the yellow planted only among white varieties; but a charming planting of irregular colonies, each of one kind, under some trees in a friend's garden taught me that if the yellow are planted in separate groups; instead of being scattered among the purples; they can be very effective.

The quality of grass differs so greatly that my rather poor success with the many species I have tried in a rough meadow need not discourage others with a finer brand of turf. I used to give bundles of rogues and mixed seedlings to Mr. Wilks to plant in his wild garden at Shirley, and in his grass they flourished and spread most delightfully. The soil there is a fine sand, and he used to say of it that it was so light that if he threw it up in the air it would never come down again, and naturally the grass on it is scanty and fine.

Where the turf is not coarse, and the ground well drained and open to sunshine, I advise planting Crocus tomasinianus, Crocus aureus, Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi, Crocus versicolor as well as Crocus vernus for spring, and Crocus kotschyanus, Crocus speciosus, Crocus nudiflorus and Crocus longiflorus for autumn."

 

 

How to tell a Colchicum from a true Crocus? 

  • Colchicum has 6 stamens, 3 styles, and a superior ovary (that is, the flower cups the seed receptacle). 
  • Crocus has 3 stamens, one style divided into 3, and an inferior ovary (that is, the seed receptacle is below the flower).

 

The following diagram shows the parts of the Crocus and Colchicum. The following year the corm uses the hole left when the Perianth Tube dies off to push up a new tube with its flowers and leaves. It is therefore better if you do not disturb the ground once you have planted these corms.

 

crocuscolchicumdiagram1

This diagram from A Handbook of Crocus and Colchicum for Gardeners by E. A. Bowles Ma.A., F.L.S., F.r.E.S., V.M.H. published by The Garden Book Club, 121 Charing Cross Road, London WC2. in 1955. It has the following excerpt on Colchicums:-

"The greater number of the handsome members of the genus Colchicum are easily grown, and the chief trouble in a garden arises from the amount of space required in spring and early summer for their coarse leaves. In autumn the rosy lilac, white or tessellated flowers can never be too numerous, come where they may; but in spring it is almost annoying to watch the unfolding of those great leaves. They expand enormously with the April showers, rise up rapidly on tall shoots and are then ready to fall outwards and sprawl over neater-growing plants; that we realise too late have been planted too near the Colchicums. They would make a good edging to beds of shrubs or tall herbaceous plants but for their aggravating habit of beginning to fade and collapse in the first warm days of June....

The dormant period of a Colchicum is short. The leaves fade after the ripening of the seed in June, and the corm matures soon after. Those that flower in autumn are ready in August to form new roots and push out flowers. Some species can flower satisfactorily at their natural season without being planted or supplied with any moisture. I have seen a gay show of flowering Colchicums in cottage windows in Cornwall provided by corms laid in a row on the ledge of the bay window.

It is very unusual that a plant brings flowers to perfection while without active roots to supply moisture to the expanding cells. Colchicum byzantinum can bear 12-20 flowers in a long succession and without active roots. Gathered flowers of many species will last fresh for several days without being placed in water.

As in the case of a Crocus the dry, resting state of a Colchicum is a corm, a solid underground stem, in which nutriment is stored.

In many species, especially in Colchicum speciosum or Colchicum cilicicum, the corm is very large, 4 inches or more in length and about 2 inches in diameter in the widest part. One of these large corms will repay examination and explain the manner of growth.

It is irregular in shape, one side being convex and the other flattened and prolonged downwards to form a curious foot-like projection, which is a characteristic feature of most species of Colchicum. If the tunic is removed, the large white corm is seen to have an upper projection, more pointed than the foot, at the top on the flattened side. A central groove runs down longitudinally on this side, widening towards the base just above the foot. The new bud for the coming season is formed in the hollow at the base of this groove. In a fully grown but unripened corm examined in mid-June this growth bud is very small and looks much like the tiny radicle seen between the two halves of a walnut or filbert kernel. It grows with astonishing rapidity as soon as the corm is ripened.

The tunic when young is a white and fleshy membrane but becomes brown and leathery when mature. It is composed of the tubular lower portion of the first and outermost leaf and completely encloses the whole corm. It is produced upward above the solid corm into a long, tough, hollow tube, called the cap, which reaches to the surface of the soil and provides an open passage, even in stiff clay soil, through which the slender flower buds can push their way without injury.

In a healthy Colchicum tunic there are only 2 orifices for the exit of its developing organs, 1 from the upper end of the cap, which is always open, the other at the base and side of the foot, closed at first, but easily pushed away by the force of the roots, all of which grow from a small definite area on the outer side of the base of the new shoot.

When examined at flowering time, the tunic could be slit vertically where it covers the new shoot lying in the groove on the flat side of the corm. When the new shoot is exposed, it will be seen that it is only connected to the corm by a remarkably small area at the base, so small that it is hard to believe that, before the roots are developed, all the moisture and nutriment required for the rapid growth of the shoot and its flowers must pass from the storage in the corm through this very small point of attachment.

Beginning from the base, it will be found that the new shoot consists of the following parts, a short sheath of about one-eighth of an inch long composed of a delicate white membrane, which soon disappears and so is called the ephemeral sheath. From within this arises a long tubular sheath often 4-5 inches in length, reaching to the surface of the soil through the passage provided by the previous year's cap. This sheath encloses all the blossoms and leaves which in turn emerge from its open end.

The next organ inside this long sheath is the first and outermost leaf, the blade of which, at this stage of growth, is very little developed, but its tubular base plays a very important part in the life of the plant, as it will eventually form the tunic and cap of the next season's corm.

Also in an axillary position at the base of this leaf, the minute dormant bud, which is the embryo to become the next season's shoot, is placed on the outer side of the axis away from the old corm.

The tubular base of this first leaf also encloses the axis of growth from which arise the other leaves, and within their axils or on the summit of the axis arise the pedicels (pedicel is the stalk of a single flower) and ovaries (ovary is the immature seed vessel) of the flowers arranged spirally.

The base of the axis is already enlarged into a globular portion which with further growth will form the new corm. On its upper portion, in the axil of the second leaf, there is often a second dormant embryo, which in a vigorous individual can develop into a flowering shoot on the upper part of the side of the new corm, and later will produce an offset that finally separates from the main corm.

If the main axis bears more flowers than leaves the additional flowers are subtended by minute, colourless, triangular bracts. The axis terminates in a very small point above the insertion of the highest blossom. In a mature corm this small point has developed into a flattened prominence at the base of which is a slight pit, which was the summit of the axis and still contains the dark brown withered bases of the previous season's leaves and flowers. The prominence stands on the flat side of a corm, while on the opposite side of the pit there is a furrow a quarter of an inch wide in its upper part and narrowing until the sides meet lower down. It appears that this furrow is the result of the swelling outwards of 2 portions of the developing corm, and where they meet we may expect to find the secondary dormant bud mentioned above.

Next spring the leaves develop and emerge above the soil, generally in the form of a rosette. As they do so the old corm shrinks and a new corm begins to develop by its side from the flowering axis of autumn. The remaining nutrment stored in the old corm is used in the development of the fruits and young leaves, until the latter are able to assist in gathering the store of food required for the new corm. The lower portion of the axis develops by downward growth to form the foot or spur.

The corm is thus renewed laterally and always on the flattened side, but does not travel annually more than a fractio of an inch, as the withering and disappearance of the old corm provides the needful space to be occupied by the young corm. Therefore an individual Colchicum occupies almost the same position in the soil for many seasons. An offset, on the contrary, formed on the convex surface pushes away in the opposite direction.

The leaves differ greatly in form and size among the species and also as to the time of their appearance. In most autumn-flowering species such as Colchicum autumnale, Colchicum speciosum, Colchicum byzantinum and Colchicum agrippinum they do not appear before the following spring and are large and broad; in most of the winter or early spring flowering species they are narrowly linear and accompany the flowers. Colchicum kesselringii and Colchicum szovitzii have the narrowest and Colchicum byzantinum and Colchicum macrophyllum have the longest, a foot long and 6 or more inches in width. In most species they are glabrous (glabrous is without hairs), in others pubescent (pubescent is shortly and softly hairy) or ciliated (ciliate is with regularly arranged hairs projecting from the margin) on the margins.

As the leaves mature in the end of May the large seed capsules are revealed in the cup formed by the bases of the 2 or 3 innermost leaves.

The seed vessel is formed of 3 distinct carpels, free in their upper half but generally united below. When ripe they open at the summit and the round, thick-coated seeds escape.

From the observations of Professor Rolf Nordhagen,..... it seems probable that the seeds of Colchicum are distributed by ants. He found that those of Colchicum autumnale and Colchicum speciosum are covered when ripe with a sugary layer which is attractive to ants, and he watched ants remove 23 seeds from a capsule of Colchicum speciosum in 12 minutes. Apparently ants consume the edible outer coat, but are deterred by the presence of colchicine from damaging the embryo and cotyledon.

The large-flowered species that blossom early in autumn are easily grown, and so are a few of the spring-flowering forms. Those that blossom in mid-winter, like Colchicum variegatum, are not easily kept in health, and some beautiful spring-flowering kinds are difficult to keep alive in the open.

Colchicum speciosum and its varieties are among the handsomest of bulbous plants and should be in every garden where room can be spared for the leaves in spring. A rich, deep and rather moist soil suits most of the species best, but they will thrive in well-drained slopes of the rock garden also.

Colchicum autumnale, Colchicum byzantinum, Colchicum agrippinum, Colchicum laetum and Colchicum speciosum will grow in grass, but in view of their poisonous nature it is not wise to plant them where cattle graze, and the seed-pods and leaves should be gathered out if the grass is to be used for hay. However, after making many enquiries I have been unable to learn of a definite case of cattle poisoning by Colchicum, and it seems probable that beasts avoid eating it just as they shun buttercups.

When planted in grass increase is slow, and as with Crocuses, if it is desired to obtain a stock, the roots should be planted in well-tilled ground and divided every second year. In a wild state, the corms of most of the species are found at a great depth, but in garden ground they do best with the cap of the tunic reaching the surface."

COLCHICUM AND CROCUS CORM GALLERY PAGES
Site Map of pages with content (o)

Introduction

FLOWER COLOUR
(o)Bicolour
(o)Blue
(o)Pink
(o)Purple
Red
(o)Unusual Colours
(o)White
(o)Yellow

FOLIAGE COLOUR
(o)Green
Other Colour

FORM
(o)Stemless

SEED COLOUR
Seed

BED PICTURES
(o)Garden

 


Website Structure Explanation and User Guidelines


.

7 Flower Colours per Month in Colour Wheel below in BULB, CORM, RHIZOME and TUBER GALLERY.

Click on Black or White box in Colour of Month.

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Colchicum and Crocus INDEX link to Corm Description Page

Flower Colour with Link to Flower Colour Com-parison Page

Flower Thumb-nail

Flowering
Months

Height x Width in inches (cms) -
1 inch = 2.5 cms,
12 inches = 1 foot,
36 inches = 3 feet = 1 yard,
40 inches = 100 cms

Comments

COLCHICUM

How to tell a Colchicum from a true Crocus? 

  • Colchicum has 6 stamens, 3 styles, and a superior ovary (that is, the flower cups the seed receptacle). 
  • Crocus has 3 stamens, one style divided into 3, and an inferior ovary (that is, the seed receptacle is below the flower).
     

Autumn-flowering Colchicums

Colchicum autumnale

Lavender-Pink

colchicumcfloautumnalervroger

August, September

4-6 x 10 (10-15 x 25)

When planting, take care that the bulbs are set in an area where their foliage will not cover other plants; like along shrub borders to bring colour at unusual times of the year.

Colchicum autumnale 'Alboplenum'

Double White

colchicumcfloautumnalealboplenumrvroger

August, September

4-6 x 10 (10-15 x 25)

Like all doubles, it is too fragile to withstand heavy rain. Flowers are produced in the autumn followed by fleshy winter foliage emerging from a rosette, that dies down in early summer before its dry dormancy.

Colchicum autumnale
'Album'

Single White

colchicumcfloautumnalealbumrvroger

August, September

4-6 x 10 (10-15 x 25)

Blooms produced before the foliage. Leaves about 10 inches (25 cms) long and 1 inch (2.5 cms) wide are produced in the Autumn. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and August-October for the foliage and flowers.

Colchicum autumnale
'Major'

Rose-Lilac

colchicumcfloautumnalemajorgeetee

September

6-8 x 10 (15-20 x 25)

This bulb is "like the crocuses, the flowers come naked, but the leaves shoot up in the spring...and when they start to ripen and die off in late spring, they turn various nasty shades of yellow and appear to be in agony. This does not bother me, since my thyme and rue more or less ameliorate, or at least obscure, these goings on, but plant colchicums where the ripening foliage does not bother you.... Where the colchicum leaves die down, the earth retains a sort of funnel shape - a hole where the sheaf of leaves used to be. It struck me that water might collect in such a place, but no, these hollow channels are said to make it easy for the flowers to emerge in September, so perhaps we should not worry."

Colchicum autumnale
'Nancy Lindsay'

Pink-Mauve

colchicumcfloautumnalenancylindsayrvroger

September, October

6-8 x 10 (15-20 x 25)

Nancy Lindsay had a small nursery near Hidcote Manor after World War II. Award of Garden Merit from RHS in 1997.

Colchicum autumnale 'Pleniflorum'

Lilac-Pink

colchicumcfloautumnalepleniflorumrvroger

November, December

4-6 x 10 (10-15 x 25)

Looks quite exotic but is actually easy to grow and very reliable.

Colchicum
'Autumn Herald'

Wine-Purple with
White eye

colchicumcfloautumnheraldrvroger1

August, September

4-6 x 10 (10-15 x 25)

5-10 Green leaves about 10 inches (25 cms) long and 1 inch (2.5 cms) wide are produced in the Autumn. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and August-October for the foliage and flowers.

Colchicum baytopiorum

Pinkish-Purple with
Yellow anthers

colchicumcflobaytopiorumrvroger1

October

2 x 10
(5 x 25)

It is ideal for pot culture and if unprotected, its leaves are likely to be damaged by frost. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and August-November for the foliage and flowers.

Colchicum boissieri

Pinkish-Lilac with
Yellow anthers

colchicumcfloboissierirvroger

September, October, November, December

8 x 10
(20 x 25)

Plant 5 inches (13 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil - 6 inches (15 cms) deep in sandy soil - and 4 inches (10 cms) apart in July; in areas of full sun.

Colchicum byzantinum

Pale Lilac or Bright Mauve with White Centre

colchicumcflobyzantinumrvroger1

September

5 x 16
(13 x 40)

A hugely popular species. Bears up to 20 pale lilac flowers, beginning funnel shaped and becoming more open with age. The petals are up to 5cm (2”) long. A very reliable early flowering variety.

Colchicum cilicium

Purplish-Pink

colchicumcflociliciumrvroger

September

4 x 16
(10 x 40)

5-6 Dark Green leaves over 12 inches (30 cms) long and up to 4 inches wide are produced after the flowers have passed. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and September-October for the flowers and foliage.

Colchicum cilicium
'Purpureum'

Red-Purple

colchicumcflociliciumpurpureumrvroger

September

4 x 16
(10 x 40)

5-6 Dark Green leaves over 12 inches (30 cms) long and up to 4 inches wide are produced after the flowers have passed. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and September-October for the flowers and foliage.

Colchicum cupanii

Rosy-Lilac with Purplish-Black anthers

colchicumpflocupaniigarnonswilliams

September, October, November, December

3 x 16
(8 x 40)

A smaller-flowered species, with unusually for a colchicum, the leaves visible at flowering time.

Colchicum
'Dick Trotter'

Violet-Pink with
White-star Centre

colchicumcflodicktrotterrvroger1a

September

6-8 x 10 (15-20 x 25)

This superb mid-season hybrid has distinctive rose-pink rounded flowers with a white eye.

Colchicum 'Disraeli'

Magenta chequered with White Centre

colchicumcflodisraelirvroger

September

6-8 x 10 (15-20 x 25)

Plant 5 inches (13 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil - 6 inches (15 cms) deep in sandy soil - and 4 inches (10 cms) apart in July.

Colchicum giganteum

Soft Purple

colchicumcflogiganteumrvroger

October, November

10-12 x 10 (25-30 x 25)

Flowers before the leaves are produced. Robust and easy to grow, this will naturalise well.

Colchicum 'Gracia'

Light Violet-Purple with
White Base

colchicumcflograciarvroger

October, November

10-12 x 10 (25-30 x 25)

It flowers before the leaves are produced.

Colchicum graecum

Rose-Pink and
darker Pink

colchicumcflograecumrvroger

August

10-12 x 10 (25-30 x 25)

This bulb is flowering in August. This is a wonderful species with light pink petals which are quite long and separated, giving a star-like effect. Best grown in a pot or raised alpine bed.

Colchicum 'Harlekijn'

Creamy-White with
Purple Blotches

colchicumcfloharlekijnrvroger1

September

10-12 x 10 (25-30 x 25)

A very distinctive hybrid, producing in September intricate twisting creamy white flowers with irregular purple blotches

Colchicum
'Jochem Hof'

Royal Purple with
White Throat

colchicumcflojochemhofrvroger

September, October

10-12 x 10 (25-30 x 25)

It flowers before the leaves are produced. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and September-November for the foliage and flowers.

Colchicum laetum

Rose-Lilac

colchicumcflolaetumrvroger

September

2-3 x 10 (5-8 x 25)

Its flowers are produced before the leaves. Free-flowering and easy to grow in sun or partial shade.

Colchicum
'Lilac Bedder'

Light Violet-Purple with
White Throat

colchicumcflolilacbedderrvroger

September

8 x 10
(20 x 25)

Its flowers are produced efore the eaves. Very reliable and will mulitply.

Colchicum
'Lilac Wonder'

Deep Lilac-Pink

colchicumcflolilacwonderrvroger

September

6 x 10
(15 x 25)

A prolific flowering variety with very pretty deep lilac-pink flowers. Easy to grow and makes a superb show.

Colchicum luteum

Yellow

colchicumcfloluteumrvroger

September

3-4 x 10 (8-10 x 25)

This bulb is an extremely scarce species - this is the only known colchicum with yellow flowers. Blooms are small, but of a rich golden yellow.

Colchicum parlatoris

Pink-Lilac

colchicumcfloparlatorisrvroger

September

2 x 7
(5 x 18)

11 slim Green leaves are produced in September when the flowers are at their zenith. They continue to grow through the winter to reach 6 inches long by late spring. Some bulbs have the trick of forming their new bulbs deeper and deeper year after year. This article (it is a fair way down the blog) on 'Droppers' explains this with photos.

Colchicum 'Poseidon'

Violet-Mauve

colchicumcfloposeidonrvroger

September

8-10 x 10 (20-25 x 25)

Poseidon is the Greek God of the sea. A reliable choice for the border. Flowers are then produced in the autumn and winter from naked ground followed by fleshy winter foliage emerging from a rosette, that dies down in early summer before its dry dormancy.

Colchicum
'Rosy Dawn'

Pinkish-Violet with
White Centre

colchicumcflorosydawnrvroger

September

6 x 10
(15 x 25)

The flowers are fragrant and produced before the leaves. A lovely variety that is well worth growing if you are looking for something that bit special.

Colchicum speciosum

 

Pale to Deep Pink with White Throat

colchicumcflospeciosumrvroger

September, October

7 x 10
(18 x 25)

A lovely species with up to 3 pale to deep pink flowers, often with white throats. They have distinct yellow anthers. This is not as bold as some varieties but more subtle and as such just as worthwhile.

Colchicum speciosum
'Album'

White

colchicumcflospeciosumalbumrvroger

October

4 x 10
(10 x 25)

Pure white flowers, and these are quite thick in texture, making them particularly weather resistant. They take some time to establish but are well worth the wait as they produce a superb display.

Colchicum speciosum bornmeulleri

Pale to Dark Pink with White throat

colchicumcflospeciosumbornmeullerirvroger1

October

4 x 10
(10 x 25)

Green quite narrow leaves are produced in the Spring. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and foliage, and October for the flowers.

Colchicum speciosum
'Ordu'

Amethyst-Violet with
White Centre

colchicumcflospeciosumordurvroger

September

8 x 10
(20 x 25)

This bulb is the hardiest Colchicum speciosum cultivar, named after the Turkish district whence it came. Bright flowers appear in early September, followed by shiny foliage in spring. Recommended.

Colchicum tenorei

Light to Dark Purple

colchicumcflotenoreirvroger

September

8 x 10
(20 x 25)

Blooms which vary in colour from light to dark purple. Requires a moist soil in spring but a dry dormancy in the summer. Plant 5 inches (13 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil - 6 inches (15 cms) deep in sandy soil - and 4 inches (10 cms) apart in July. When planting, take care that the bulbs are set in an area where their foliage will not cover other plants; like along shrub borders to bring colour at unusual times of the year.

Colchicum
'The Giant'

Purplish-Violet with
White Base

colchicumcflothegiantrvroger

September

8 x 10
(20 x 25)

A robust, large flowered variety with up to 5 unusual flowers. Each flower has a white base to it. It is quite tall growing, getting to 20cm (8”) in height.

Colchicum
'Violet Queen'

Bluish-Lilac with
White Throat

crocuscflosieberiatticusvioletqueenkevock1

September

3.5 x 2
(9 x 5)

Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders. Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil.

Colchicum
'Water Lily'

Pinkish-Lilac

colchicumcflovioletqueenrvroger

September, October

5 x 10
(13 x 25)

Bears up to 5 double, pinkish-lilac flowers. The name really does this plant justice as that is exactly what the flowers look like. Due to the size and weight of the flowers they are best grown among other plants where they will get some support. Definitely one to try.

Colchicum
'William Dykes'

Soft Lilac with
Greenish-White Centre

colchicumcflowilliamdykesrvroger

September

5 x 10
(13 x 25)

Soft Lilac with star-shaped Greenish-White Centre in September before the leaves are produced in the spring

Tessellated-flowering Colchicums:-
Tessellated species, those marked with a crisscross pattern on the petals in colors of dark and light rosy mauve

Colchicum agrippinum

Pale Lilac with Lilac-Purple tessell-ation

colchicumcfloagrippinumrvroger

September, October

5-8 x 6 (13-20 x 15)

Narrow Green foliage is produced in the Spring. Continue watering as long as foliage remains green, withold water when foliage starts to die back, usually in July. Sometimes the foliage will be produced following the flowers and will remain growing until July.

Colchicum
'Autumn Queen'

Pink with White Throat and Purple tessell-ation

colchicumcfloautumnqueenrvroger

August, September

6 x 10
(15 x 25)

Colchicum - photos taken by Arnold Trachtenberg - are grown in his New Jersey garden, planted in garden soil augmented with 50% grit.

Colchicum bivonae
'Apollo'

Lilac with White Centre
and Purplish-Violet
tessell-ation

colchicumcflobivonaeapollorvroger1

October, November

8 x 15
(20 x 38)

Colchicum bivonae is a parent of many of the large-flowered Colchicum hybrids, often in crosses with Colchicum speciosum. It contributes the tessellation (check-ering) to these hybrids.

Colchicum bivonae
'Glory of Heemstede'

Purplish-Violet
tessell-ation

colchicumcflobivonaegloryofheemstedervroger

October, November

7 x 15
(18 x 38)

Heemstede is a town around which, for a long time, many of the best growers in the Netherlands congregated. The flowers are fragrant, quite strongly tessellated and are produced before the leaves. It is a strong growing variety.

Colchicum bivonae
'Vesta'

Light Violet with
Purplish-Violet
tessell-ation

colchicumcflobivonaevestarvroger1

October, November

8 x 15
(20 x 38)

Light Violet and tessellated with Purplish-Violet in October-November before the leaves are produced.
Highly scented.

Colchicum
macrophyllum

Pale Lilac with White
tessell-ation

colchicumcflomacrophyllumrvroger1

September, October,
November

2-3 x 15 (5-8 x 38)

A very early-flowering species, with large pale lilac flowers heavily tessellated with white. Native to Crete and parts of Greece, so needs a very warm and well-drained position, or else grow in pots.

Colchicum sfikasianum

Purple-Pink with
White tessell-ation

colchicumcflosfikasianumrvroger

September

5 x 15
(13 x 38)

Deep Purple-Pink and tessellated with White blooms are produced in September before the leaves.

Colchicum sibthorpii

Rosy-Lilac with
Purplish-Violet
tessell-ation

colchicumcflosibthorpiirvroger

September, October,
November

10 x 15
(20 x 38)

Wonderful chequered lilac blooms are produced before the leaves.

Winter-flowering Colchicums

Colchicum crocifolium

White

colchicumcflocrocifoliumrvroger

January, February

3-4 x 8 (8-10 x 20)

Plant 5 inches (13 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil - 6 inches (15 cms) deep in sandy soil - and 8 inches (20 cms) apart in July. When planting, take care that the bulbs are set in an area where their foliage will not cover other plants; like along shrub borders to bring colour at unusual times of the year.

Colchicum kesselringii

White with Purple/Brown Striping

colchicumcflokesselringiirvroger1

January, February

3-4 x 8 (8-10 x 20)

Plant 5 inches (13 cms) deep in average well-drained, moisture-retentive soil - 6 inches (15 cms) deep in sandy soil - and 8 inches (20 cms) apart in July. When planting, take care that the bulbs are set in an area where their foliage will not cover other plants; like along shrub borders to bring colour at unusual times of the year.

Colchicum hungaricum albiflorum

White with Dark
Purple Anthers

colchicumcflohungaricumalbiflorumrvroger

January, February

8 x 8
(20 x 20)

2 Dark Green leaves become 6 inches long and up to 0.5 inches wide at maturity and they are produced at the same time as the flowers. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and January-March for the flowers and foliage.

Colchicum szovitisii
'Tivi'

White with
Orange Pollen

colchicumcfloszovitisitivirvroger

January, February

2-3 x 8
(5-8 x 20)

This bulb requires a moist soil in spring but a dry dormancy in the summer. Dark Green leaves are produced after the flowers have reached their zenith. Moisture required in the Spring for the roots and January-March for the flowers and foliage.

Colchicum szovitisii
'White Forms

White

colchicumcfloszovitisiiwhiteformsrvroger

January, February

2-3 x 8
(5-8 x 20)

Dark Green leaves are produced after the flowers have started blooming. This bulb requires a moist soil in spring but a dry dormancy in the summer.

Winter- and Spring-Flowering Colchicums

Colchicum hungaricum

White with Pale Lilac central Stripes

colchicumcflohungaricumrvroger1

December, January,
February, March, April

3-4 x 8 (8-10 x 20)

2 Dark Green leaves become 6 inches long and up to 0.5 inches wide at maturity and they are produced at the same time as the flowers. Moisture required December-April for the flowers and foliage.

CROCUS

Autumn-flowering Crocus

Crocus banaticus

Lilac to Purple

crocuscflobanaticusrvroger1a

September, October

3-4 x 15 (8-10 x 38)

One of the most unusual flowered of all Crocus. It is slow to increase but is definitely worth any effort it takes to grow this one.

Crocus asturicus var. atripurpureus

Light and Dark Violet

crocuspforasturicusgarnonswilliams1

September, October, November, December

3-4 x 10 (8-10 x 25)

Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders. 7 Green leaves, 3-4 inches long, are produced at flowering time; elongating afterward and then can be cut off in April.

Crocus asumaniae

White to Pale Lilac

crocuscfloasumaniaervroger

October, November

3-4 x 10 (8-10 x 25)

Green leaves are produced at flowering time; and then can be cut off in April. A very rare species from Turkey, with goblet shaped white to pale lilac flowers with eye-catching large red stigma.

Crocus boryi

Creamy-White

crocuscfloboryirvroger

September, October, November, December

3-4 x 15 (8-10 x 38)

The thin u-shaped 4 inch Dark Green leaves are produced with the flowers. This bulb is from Greece, so this species needs the shelter of a greenhouse, but produces exquisite white flowers flushed with a pale sulphur tint. The stigmata are an eye-catching bright scarlet.

Crocus cambessedesii

White to Deep Lilac,
striped Purple

crocuspflo1cambessedanusgarnonswilliams1

September, October, November, December

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders. They can also be planted 4 inches (10 cms) deep in 10 inch (25 cms) pots with 50% sharp sand and 50% Multipurpose Compost mixture.
Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil.

Crocus cancellatus
cancellatus

Pale to Mid Lilac-Blue

crocuscflocancellatuscancellatusrvroger

September, October, November, December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

Flowering time varies from the end of September to early December without the leaves. The flowering time will vary by as much as 2 or 3 months. Needs to be grown in a cool greenhouse rather than in the garden.

Crocus cancellatus
lycius

Creamy-White

crocuscflocancellatuslyciusrvroger

September, October, November, December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

This bulb produces wonderful creamy white flowers with bright orange stigmata. Again, one for the cool greenhouse as it needs a warm dry period of dormancy in the summer.

Crocus cancellatus
pamphylicus

White

crocuscflocancellatuspamphylicusrvroger

September, October, November, December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

Flowering time varies from the end of September to early December without the leaves. The flowering time will vary by as much as 2 or 3 months. This bulb needs to be grown in a cool greenhouse rather than in the garden. Does need to be allowed to dry out over the summer.

Crocus
cartwrightianus

Pale to deep Lilac-Purple or White, darker veins

crocuscflocartwrightianusrvroger1

October, November,
December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

The main attraction of this species is the long, bright red styles and shorter bright yellow stamens. Quite an eye catching flower!! It will grow outdoors in a sunny spot in very well drained soil but is best grown in a pot in a cool greenhouse.

Crocus
cartwrightianus 'Albus'

Pure White

crocuscflocartwrightianusalbusrvroger

October, November,
December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

This bulb is a stunning species with pure white flowers. The main attraction of this species is the long, bright red styles and shorter bright yellow stamens. It will grow outdoors in a sunny spot in very well drained soil but is best grown in a pot in a cool greenhouse.

Crocus goulimyi

Soft Lilac

crocuscflogoulimyirvroger

October, November

4 x 15
(10 x 38)

Scented blooms with the leaves. Requires well drained soil but otherwise will grow outdoors.

Crocus goulimyi 'Albus'

White

crocuscflogoulimyialbusrvroger

October, November

4 x 15
(10 x 38)

This bulb is very pretty with white flowers, opening quite wide. They are scented and have contrasting yellow stamens. The foliage appears at the same time as the flowers. Requires well drained soil but otherwise will grow outdoors.

Crocus hadriaticus

White with
Purple markings

crocuscflohadriaticusrvroger

October

4 x 15
(10 x 38)

Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil. The grass should be mown short a month before flowers appear and all mowing stopped whilst the crocus are in flower and leaf. The foliage will have died down by the time in the spring when the grass needs cutting.

Crocus hadriaticus
'Indian Summer'

Fragrant, White

crocuscflohadriaticusindiansummerrvroger

October, November

3-4 x 15
(10 x 38)

Native to Western and Southern Greece. This is a heritage Crocus, collected by E.A. Bowles in the central Peloponnesus and cherished in gardens for much of a century. In a sunny, well-drained spot this crocus can take considerable frost.

Crocus kotschyanus kotschyanus

Pale Lilac with Orange band inside

crocuscflokotschyanuskotschyanusgeetee1

August, September

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Useful information from this Rock Garden enthusiast with flower photos. Native to Lebanon and introduced prior to 1854, this is one of the finest autumn-flowering species. It is one of the most prolific offset producers in the genus, the many small cormlets spreading rapidly. It is an excellent species for naturalizing in open, woodland areas.

Crocus kotschyanus kotschyanus 'Albus'

Bone-White

crocuscflokotschyanuskotschyanusalbusrvroger

August, September

2.5-3 x 15 (7-8 x 38)

Flower buds are very pale lilac but open to bone-White in August-September before the leaves.

Crocus kotschyanus
'Reliance'

Light Violet-Blue

crocuscflokotschyanusreliancervroger

September

3-4 x 15 (8-10 x 38)

The Dark Green - with a White band in the centre - leaves appear after the flowers; becoming 12 inches (30 cms) long; and persisting throughout the winter. It is an excellent species for naturalizing in open, woodland areas.

Crocus laevigatus
'Fontenayi'

Ageratum-Violet

crocuscflolaevigatusfontenayirvroger1

December

3-4 x 15 (8-10 x 38)

Blooms in December after the leaves have started growing. These Autumn-flowering crocus do require the well drained spot and should be planted approx. 7.5cm (3”) deep.

Crocus ligusticus

Light Lilac, darker veins

crocuscfloligusticusrvroger1

October, November

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

Blooms in October-November before the leaves have started growing.

Crocus niveus

White

crocuscfloniveusrvroger

November

4-6 x 15 (10-15 x 38)

This bulb is a variable species with white or lilac flowers with yellow throats and very distinct orange styles. Is best grown in a pot in a greenhouse but will also grow outside if it can be guaranteed a dry summer period.

Crocus nudiflorus

Bright Purple

crocuscflonudiflorusrvroger

September, October

6-10 x 15 (15-25 x 38)

Blooms in September-October before the leaves.Spreads easily so is ideal for naturalising.

Crocus ochroleucus

Creamy-White

crocuspfloochroleucusgarnonswilliams

October, November, December

2 x 15
(5 x 38)

This bulb is a delightful species with creamy white flowers, all with bright yellow throats. Another one that increases well and so is ideal for naturalising through grass or under trees.

Crocus oreocreticus

Mid-Lilac to Purple,
darker veins

crocuscflooreocreticusrvroger

October, November,
December

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

This will tolerate slightly cooler and damper conditions than most other crocus. The Dark Green grasslike leaves appear before the flowers.

Crocus pallasii
ssp. pallasii

Pale Pinkish-Lilac to deep Lilac-Blue

crocuscflopallasiirvroger

October, November

5 x 15
(13 x 38)

An easy to grow species that will do well in the garden, this has pure lilac flowers without the yellow throat seen in most other species in October-November with the leaves.

Crocus pulchellus

Pale Lilac

crocuscflopulchelluskevock

September, October

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Crocus pulchellus is a vigorous autumn crocus which naturalizes easily, producing numerous bulblets all around the parent corm to increase its numbers with surprising speed year by year.

Crocus pulchellus 'Albus'

White

crocuscflopulchellusalbusrvroger1

September, October

4-5 x 3-6 (10-13 x 8-15)

The Dark Green thin grass-like leaves appear with the flowers and reach 10 inches in length. Very good for naturalising.

Crocus pulchellus
'Inspiration'

Sky-Blue

crocuscflopulchellusinspirationrvroger

October

4 x 3-6
(10 x 8-15)

Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders. They can also be planted 4 inches (10 cms) deep in 10 inch (25 cms) pots with 50% sharp sand and 50% Multipurpose Compost mixture.

Crocus pulchellus 'Michael Hoog'

White

crocuscflopulchellusmichaelhoogrvroger1

October,
November

4 x 3-6
(10 x 8-15)

The Dark Green leaves appear after the flowers. Good Companions for the autumn-flowering crocus from The Telegraph.

Crocus pulchellus
'Zephyr'

White shaded Grey

crocuscflopulchelluszephyrrvroger1

September, October,
November

4 x 2
(10 x 5)

Native to Greece. Ideal for naturalising. Where bulbs are planted in grass do not cut the lawn until after the leaves have died back. Loved by bees. The narrow Mid-Green leaves appear after the flowers.

Crocus sativus

Lilac with Purple veins

crocuscflosativusrvroger1

October, November

8-12 x 2 (20-30 x 5)

The Saffron Crocus is Native to Italy and east to Turkey. Rabbits, rats, mice and birds cause damage by digging up the corms, so cover them with a very fine-mesh wire under the soil to deter the predators.

Crocus serotinus
clusii

Lilac with White throat

crocuscfloserotinusclusiirvroger1a

October, November

4-5 x 2 (10-13 x 5)

Rabbits, rats, mice and birds cause damage by digging up the corms, so cover them with a very fine-mesh wire under the soil to deter the predators.

Crocus serotinus
salzmanii

Lilac with White throat

crocuscfloserotinussalzmaniirvroger1a1

September, October, November, December

6 x 4
(15 x 10)

Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil. The grass should be mown short a month before flowers appear and all mowing stopped whilst the crocus are in flower and leaf.

Crocus serotinus salzmanii 'Erectophyllus'

Lilac

crocuspflosalzmaniierectophyllusrvroger1

October, November,
December

6 x 4
(15 x 10)

Moist soil. It prefers a warm dry rest in the summer. Up to 7 narrow dark Green 3-4 inch long leaves appear as the flowers wither and then later they elongate. Grow in pots since it is frost-tender.

Crocus speciosus
'Aino'

Lilac-Blue with
darker veining

crocuscflospeciosusainorvroger

September, October

4-6 x 6-9 (10-15 x 15-23)

It stands up well to weather. The speciosus species and its cultivars are regarded as one of the easiest to grow. The species will sow itself and create large plantings

Crocus speciosus
'Aitchisonii'

Inside pale Lavender, Outside almost White

crocuscflospeciosusaitchisoniirvroger

September, October

5 x 2
(13 x 5)

Up to 7 narrow dark Green 3-4 inch long leaves appear after the flowers and then later they elongate to 12-18 inches. Grow in pots since it is frost-tender.

Crocus speciosus

Purple-Violet

crocuscflospeciosusgeetee

September, October,
November

4 x 1.3
(10 x 3)

Plant with suitable groundcover which supports the stem and stops the flowers from flopping over from Paghat. Rabbits, rats, mice and birds cause damage by digging up the corms, so cover them with a very fine-mesh wire under the soil to deter the predators.

Crocus speciosus
'Albus'

White

crocuscflospeciosusalbusrvroger1

September, October,
November

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Fully hardy, so insert them into a sunny shrub border among deciduous shrubs. Plant with suitable groundcover which supports the stem and stops the flowers from flopping over from Paghat.

Crocus speciosus
'Artabir'

Violet-Blue veined
with Purple

crocuscflospeciosusartabirrvroger1a

September, October

5-6 x 2 (13-15 x 5)

Narrow Dark Green 3-4 inch long leaves appear after the flowers and then later they elongate to 12-18 inches. Fully hardy, so insert them into a sunny shrub border among deciduous shrubs.

Crocus speciosus
'Cassiope'

Violet-Blue with
Yellow centre

crocuscflospeciosuscassiopervroger1a

October, November

6 x 2
(15 x 5)

Good Companions for the autumn-flowering crocus from The Telegraph.

Crocus speciosus
'Conqueror'

Blue

crocuscflospeciosusconquerorrvroger1a1

October, November

4-6 x 2 (10-15 x 5)

The larger-sized corms can be rested in the neck of a crocus vase so that the bottom of the corm is just above the water level, then place on a window-cill in the kitchen to give you the flowers before planting out in the garden when in leaf.

Crocus speciosus
'Oxonian'

Violet-Mauve with
Blue stem

crocuscflospeciosusoxonianrvroger1a

September, October

4 x 2-4
(10 x 5-10)

Fully hardy, so insert them into a sunny shrub border among deciduous shrubs. Plant with suitable groundcover which supports the stem and stops the flowers from flopping over from Paghat.

Crocus veneris

White flushed Bronze

crocuscflovenerisrvroger1

November, December,
January

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Sand, Chalk soil. In Cyprus grows on stony and grassy places in maquis or open conifer woods. Not hardy in the UK, so needs to be grown in a greenhouse.

Winter-flowering Crocus

Crocus ancyrensis
'Golden Bunch'

Tangerine-Yellow

crocuscfloancyrensisgoldenbunchfoord1

December, January

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

Because 'Golden Bunch' is so extremely early it is more than commonly apt to be ruined by our winter rainstorms. Some years it is truly fine-looking crocus for only about two days before the rain beats it down.

Crocus biflorus
'Miss Vain
'

White with pale
Blue base

crocuscflobiflorusmissvaingeetee1

February, March

4 x 2
(10 x 5)

Plant from September to December 5-8cm deep and 5cm apart. Can be planted under trees, under shrubs, in borders and containers. Plant in groups for the best effect.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Ard Schenk'

White

crocuscflochrysanthusardschenkkevock

January, February,
March

4 x 3
(10 x 8)

The 4 inch long Dark Green leaves are produced with the flowers.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Blue Pearl
'

Light Lobelia-Blue with White margin

crocuscflochrysanthusbluepearlgeetee

January, February,
March

4 x 3
(10 x 8)

If placed near the root crowns of deciduous shrubs, they'll get the sun they need in late winter & early spring when they bloom, then when they are dormant, the roots of the shrubs will soak up the water to keep the corms from steeping in too much moisture, so not at risk of rot.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Cream Beauty
'

Creamy-Yellow

crocuscflochrysanthuscreambeautygeetee1

January, February,
March

3 x 2
(8 x 5)

Naturalized they can be used in bold sweeping drifts, especially when mixed with Snowdrops and Winter Aconites.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Dorothy'

Bright
Buttercup-Yellow

crocuscflochrysanthusdorothykevock1a

February, March

2-4 x 2-4 (5-10 x 5-10)

The 4 inch long Dark Green leaves are produced with the flowers.

Crocus chrysanthus
'E.A. Bowles'

Deep Butter-Yellow with Bronze feathering

crocuscflochrysanthuseabowlesfoord1

February, March

3-4 x 15 (8-10 x 38)

Deep Butter-Yellow with Bronze feathering, blooms in February-March with the leaves.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Fuscotinctus'

Plum-Purple on
Yellow ground

crocuscflochrysanthusfuscotinctusgeetee1

January, February,
March

4 x 3
(10 x 8)

If placed near the root crowns of deciduous shrubs, they'll get the sun they need in late winter & early spring when they bloom, then when they are dormant, the roots of the shrubs will soak up the water to keep the corms from steeping in too much moisture, so not at risk of rot.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Goldilocks'

Deep Yellow, shaded Purple-Brown

crocuscflochrysanthusgoldilocksgeetee1

January, February,
March

3 x 2
(8 x 5)

Deer resistant.
'Just a little crocus
Growing in the grass
Can announce the springtime
To the folks that pass.' from Paghat.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Prince Claus'

White with
Blue blotch

crocuscflochrysanthusprinsclaausgeetee1

January, February,
March

3 x 2
(8 x 5)

Deer resistant. It's a Bunch-Flowering Crocus, so-named because individual bulbs are frequently multiflowering, hence a drift started with 25 bulbs can look very densely planted even for its first year. As it naturalizes & produces offsets, it will be still flowerier in years to come.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Princess Beatrix'

Light Blue with
darker feathers

crocuscflochrysanthusprincessbeatrixfoord

February, March

2.5 x 15
(6 x 38)

Many species of crocuses like to remain dry in summer, but this is not the case with varieties of C. sieberi or C. chrysanthus, which even during summer dormancy multiply best in well-watered locations.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Romance'

Lemon-Yellow

crocuscflochrysanthusromancegeetee1

January, February,
March

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

'Deer resistant and excellent when planted with early blooming Crocus chrysanthus 'Advance'.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Saturnus'

Dark Yellow, with Purple Stripes externally

crocuscfloschrysanthussaturnusfoord1

January, February

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

Many species of crocuses like to be permitted to remain dry in summer, but this is not the case with varieties of C. sieberi or C. chrysanthus, which even during summer dormancy multiply best in well-watered locations. The 10 inch long Dark Green leaves are produced with the flowers.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Snow Bunting'

White with Lilac feathers externally

crocuscflochrysanthussnowbuntinggeetee1

February, March

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

Plant under turf on sandy or chalk soil. The winter-flowering crocuses will have made their leaf growth and the foliage will have died down by the time in the spring when the grass needs cutting.

Crocus chrysanthus
'Warley'

Cream and Blue
outside, White and
Yellow inside

crocuscflochrysanthuswarleyfoord

February, March

3 x 15
(8 x 38)

The 10 inch long Dark Green leaves are produced with the flowers. This crocus even during summer dormancy multiplies best in well-watered locations.

Crocus chrysanthus 'Zwanenburg Bronze'

Garnet-Brown inside
Yellow

crocuscflochrysanthuszwanenburgbronzegeetee1

January, February,
March

4 x 2
(10 x 5)

Fragrant Garnet-Brown with narrow Yellow margin inside Saffron Yellow blooms in January-March with the 3 inch long Mid-Green leaves.

Crocus sieberi
atticus 'Firefly'

Amethyst-Violet

crocuscflosieberiatticusfireflygeetee

January, February,
March

4 x 2
(10 x 5)

Others prefer to remain dry in summer, but this is not the case with varieties of C. sieberi or C. chrysanthus, which even during summer dormancy multiply best in well-watered locations.

Crocus sieberi atticus
'Violet Queen
'

Amethyst-Violet

crocuscflosieberiatticusvioletqueenkevock1a

January, February,
March

3.5 x 2
(9 x 5)

The 3 inch long Mid-Green leaves are produced with the flowers. Crocus sieberi atticus is native to Greece.

Crocus sieberi 'subsp. sublimis Tricolor'

Lilac-Blue, White margin, Yellow centre

crocuscflosieberiatticustricolourgeetee

January, February,
March

3 x 3
(8 x 8)

Blooms in January-March with the leaves. Worth growing in a pot. Companions of Camellia sasanqua 'Plantation Pink', Cyclamen hederifolium, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' or Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'.

Crocus
tommasinianus

Cobalt-Violet

crocuscflotommasinianusgeetee

January, February,
March

4 x 1
(10 x 3)

Crocus tommasinianus reproduces rapidly by self-seeding and by corm offsets. The cormlets are much too tiny to ever sieve out of the soil, and wherever the tommies spread on their own, that's where they will always remain.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Barrs Purple'

Amethyst-Violet

crocuscflotommasinianusbarrspurplegeetee1

January, February,
March

3 x 2
(8 x 5)

Good choice for deciduous woodland areas. Plant these in clusters at the front of a border, cram them into pots for the patio, or use them to line the edges of a path.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'

Spectrum Violet

crocuscflotommasinianusrubygiantgeetee

January, February,
March

3 x 2
(8 x 5)

Many crocuses have a tendency to flop over due to weak stems, or to at least flop over on overcast days when the blooms remain closed awaiting for a sunnier day. Tommies are a major exception. They're upright & sturdy, even on overcast days with flowers tightly shut, looking like blue candles amidst tea-whisks of their own grass.

Crocus tommasinianus 'Whitewell Purple

Reddish-Mauve

crocuscflotommasinianuswhitewellpurplegeetee

January, February,
March

4 x 1
(10 x 3)

It will grow in almost all soil types. Good choice for deciduous woodland areas. Plant these in clusters at the front of a border, cram them into pots for the patio, or use them to line the edges of a path. One of the best for naturalising in grass.

Winter and Spring-Flowering Crocus

Crocus etruscus

Lilac

crocuscfloetruscuskevock

March, April

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Wild habitat in Deciduous Woodland and Fields. Blooms before the leaves. Seed capsules emerge towards the end of the growing season as the leaves die away.

Crocus flavus ssp. flavus
'Golden Yellow
'

Orange-Yellow

crocuscfloflavusgoldenyellowkevock1a

February, March,
April

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Crocus flavus ssp. flavus is native to much of Europe and it has been in cultivation for at least 400 years. The foliage is about the same length as the height of the flowers at flowering time, 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cms), but extend greatly later, often being as much as 12 inches in length.

Crocus vernus 'Flower Record'

Purple

crocuscflovernusflowerrecordgeetee1

February,
April

5 x 2
(13 x 5)

Blooms with the leaves. It is also good for the bees. Can be planted under trees, under shrubs, in borders and containers. Plant in groups for the best effect.

Crocus vernus 'Grand Maitre'

Lavender-Violet

crocuscflovernusgrandmaitregeetee1

March,
April

6 x 4
(15 x 10)

Flowers with the leaves. It is also good for the bees. Plant at the edges of paths, drives and small beds towards the front of borders.

Crocus vernus 'Joan of Arc'

White

crocuscflovernusjoanofarcgeetee

March,
April

4 x 4
(10 x 10)

Plant in waves in the garden or lawn. If planting in the lawn wait at least 6 weeks after the crocus have flowered to mow the lawn. Crocus will multiply and come back year after year if left undisturbed.

Crocus vernus 'Pickwick'

Striped White and Lilac

crocuscflovernuspickwickgeetee1

March, April

5 x 2
(13 x 5)

Flowers in March-April with the leaves. It is also good for the bees. Plant in waves in the garden or lawn. If planting in the lawn wait at least 6 weeks after the crocus have flowered to mow the lawn. Crocus will multiply and come back year after year if left undisturbed.

Crocus vernus 'Yellow Mammoth'

Yellow

crocuscflovernusyellowmammothgeetee

March, April

6 x 2
(15 x 5)

Flowers in March-April with the leaves. It is also good for the bees. Crocus corms have star-like flowers when open; they close at night and remain closed on dark, cloudy days.

Ivydene Horticultural Services logo with I design, construct and maintain private gardens. I also advise and teach you in your own garden. 01634 389677

 

Site design and content copyright ©June 2009. Page structure amended November 2012. Added my photos to existing plant description pages and more plants into the index, which are described in the Colour Wheel Rock Garden and Colour Rock Photos galleries in February 2015. Thumbnail, Height x Width and Comments added to above Index October 2015. Chris Garnons-Williams.

DISCLAIMER: Links to external sites are provided as a courtesy to visitors. Ivydene Horticultural Services are not responsible for the content and/or quality of external web sites linked from this site.  

 

Note - the Bulb Gallery names of Autumn Bulb, Late Summer Bulb and Spring Bulb refer to when the bulbs are delivered to you, not when they flower.

See Crocus Spring Flowering Final Trials Report 2006-2009 of the Royal Horticultural Society for further crocus details.

Wild Flowers of Greece by Vangelis Papiomytoglou has 1200 photos to make their recognition easier.

 

These references stand out as specified by Pacific Rim Native Plant Nursery:- "

Crocuses: A Complete Guide to the Genus, by Jánis Rukšáns. Timber Press, 2010; ISBN 978-1-60469-106-1. Descriptions and propagation advice for gardeners from the Latvian nurseryman who knows Crocus more intimately, and grows more species, than most people.  

The Crocus: A Revision of the Genus Crocus, by Brian Mathew.  B.T. Batsford, 1982; ISBN 0 7134 3390 6. Out of print, expensive second-hand, fortunately still available in some libraries. Mathew published an update in The Plantsman, vol. 1, parts 1 and 2 (March and June 2002); important articles have also been published by Helmut Kerndorff and Erich Pasche, the  German Crocus specialists." 

The RHS has a National Collection of Crocus at Wisley - This collection now exceeds 800 accessions, representing more than 100 species and subspecific taxa, and 96 cultivars, the latter including plantings in other parts of the garden.

 

Potting mixture created by Mark Smyth of Alpine Garden Society for Autumn Crocuses for you to use in pots

or

use the potting mixtures used by the Royal Horticultural Society in its Crocus Spring Flowering 2006-2009 Trials

 

The 3 natural divisions of Colchicum are:-

  • 1. Autumn-flowering species and hybrids
  • 2. Winter- and Spring-flowering species and
  • 3. Tessellated species, those marked with a crisscross pattern on the petals in colors of dark and light rosy mauve

The 2 natural divisions of Crocus are:-

  • 1. Autumn-flowering species and hybrids and
  • 2. Winter- and Spring-flowering species

and the relevant division is added to the Plant Description Page Title.

You can obtain larger photos and more text explaination of a Colchicum or Crocus by clicking on the name of that Corm in the Link List in the next column

 


Topic
Case Studies
...Drive
...Foundations

Companion Planting
...Pest Control
...using Plants

Garden Construction
Garden Design
...RHS Mixed Borders
......Bedding Plants
......Her Perennials
......Other Plants Garden Maintenance
Glossary
Home
Library
Offbeat Glossary
Plants
...Poisonous Plants
Soil
Tool Shed
Useful Data

................

Topic - Plant Photo Galleries
Aquatic
Bamboo
Bedding
...by Flower Shape

Bulb
...Allium/ Anemone
...Autumn
...Colchicum/ Crocus *
...Dahlia
...Gladiolus
...Hippeastrum/ Lily
...Late Summer
...Narcissus
...Spring
...Tulip
...Winter
Climber
...Clematis
...Climbers
Conifer
Deciduous Shrub
...Shrubs - Decid
Deciduous Tree
...Trees - Decid
Evergreen Perennial
...P-Evergreen A-L
...P-Evergreen M-Z
...Flower Shape
Evergreen Shrub
...Shrubs - Evgr
...Heather Shrub
Evergreen Tree
...Trees - Evgr
Fern
Grass
Hedging
Herbaceous Perennial
...P -Herbaceous
...RHS Wisley
...Flower Shape
Herb
Odds and Sods
Rhododendron
Rose
...RHS Wisley A-F
...RHS Wisley G-R
...RHS Wisley S-Z
...Rose Use
...Other Roses A-F
...Other Roses G-R
...Other Roses S-Z
Soft Fruit
Top Fruit
...Apple

...Cherry
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Vegetable

Wild Flower
with its
flower colour page,
space,
Site Map page in its flower colour
NOTE Gallery
...Blue Note
...Brown Note
...Cream Note
...Green Note
...Mauve Note
...Multi-Cols Note
...Orange Note
...Pink A-G Note
...Pink H-Z Note
...Purple Note
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...White A-D Note
...White E-P Note
...White Q-Z Note
...Yellow A-G Note
...Yellow H-Z Note
...Shrub/Tree Note
Poisonous
Wildflower Plants

............

Topic - Flower/Foliage Colour
Colour Wheel Galleries

Following your choice using Garden Style then that changes your Plant Selection Process
Garden Style
...Infill Plants
...12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
...12 Foliage Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index
...Cultivation, Position, Use Index
...Shape, Form
Index

or
you could use these Flower Colour Wheels with number of colours
All Flowers 53

All Flowers per Month 12
with its
Explanation of
Structure of this Website with

...User Guidelines
All Bee-Pollinated Flowers per Month 12
...Index
Rock Garden and Alpine Flower Colour Wheel with number of colours
Rock Plant Flowers 53

...Rock Plant Photos

or
these Foliage Colour Wheels structures, which I have done but until I can take the photos and I am certain of the plant label's validity, these may not progress much further
All Foliage 212

All Spring Foliage 212
All Summer Foliage 212
All Autumn Foliage 212
All Winter Foliage 212

or
Flower Colour Wheel without photos, but with links to photos
12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index

............

Topic - Wildlife on Plant Photo Gallery
Butterfly
Usage of Plants
by Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Butterfly

Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Butterfly usage of
Plant A-C
Plant C-M
Plant N-W
Butterfly usage of Plant

.......

 

It is worth remembering that especially with roses that the colour of the petals of the flower may change - The following photos are of Rosa 'Lincolnshire Poacher' which I took on the same day in R.V. Roger's Nursery Field:-

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot91a1a

Closed Bud

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot92a1a

Opening Bud

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot93a1a

Juvenile Flower

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot94a1a

Older Juvenile Flower

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot95a1a

Middle-aged Flower - Flower Colour in Season in its
Rose Description Page is
"Buff Yellow, with a very slight pink tint at the edges in May-October."

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot96a1a

Mature Flower

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot97a1a

Juvenile Flower and Dying Flower

rosalincolnshirepoacherflot98a1a

Form of Rose Bush

There are 720 roses in the Rose Galleries; many of which have the above series of pictures in their respective Rose Description Page.

So one might avoid the disappointment that the 2 elephants had when their trunks were entwined instead of them each carrying their trunk using their own trunk, and your disappointment of buying a rose to discover that the colour you bought it for is only the case when it has its juvenile flowers; if you look at all the photos of the roses in the respective Rose Description Page!!!!

 

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