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Plants Online - Crocus

Plants for sale - Crocus

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CROCUS

Family IRIDACEAE
Crocus species
Perennial

A genus of probably one hundred species from the Mediterranean region and extending to south-west Asia. The foliage is narrow, channelled, erect and grass-like. The flowers, which are funnel-shaped, are borne on long slender tubes that rise from amid the foliage; when extended they vary from one to two inches across.

Among the spring-flowering species are Crocusbalansae, the only orange-yellow March flowering form;
Crocus tommasinianus, pale lavender;
Crocus susianus, rich yellow in mid-winter;
Crocus biflorus, the Scotch Crocus, varying from white to lavender. Among those that bloom in autumn;
Crocus clusii, from Spain and pale to deep purple;
Crocus longiflorus, with fragrant flowers or rosy lilac with yellow base;
Crocus nudiflorus, clear violet, blooming in autumn before the foliage, which appears in spring, are noteworthy, but there are many others of garden value.

Plant in late summer or early autumn in well-drained soil in sunny positions.

Propagate by separating the corms or from seed.

The flowering season is from February to April for spring flowering and from September to December for autumn flowering forms.

Crocus
Hardy “bulb” (corm).
Four to six inches.
Flowers of several colours, February to April.

Without question the best of spring bulbs for its accumulated excellencies; its earliness, its hardiness and rapid increase, its vividness and harmony of colour, its thriving in almost any soil and its cheapness.
The roots, which accurately speaking are not bulbs, but corms, like the Snowdrop and the Gladiolus, should be planted about two inches deep not later than October.
Too often planting is deferred until the corm has made a considerable top growth, which weakens it seriously.
The crocus may be planted in patches of a dozen in borders, or in rows (two or three deep) as an edging to them, or may be given a whole bed of any size to itself.
In all these methods the corms should be about two inches apart; and each patch, row or bed should be of one separate colour, not mixed. The only case in which mixed crocuses are desirable is on planting in grass; here the effect is one of random scattering, and the beauty of massed colour is not so suitable.
Anyone who possesses a lawn or piece of turf which need not be mown till May, should not fail to plant it thickly but irregularly with mixed crocuses in October; the corms should be two inches below the grass; they may be put in with a trowel, or sods of turf may be lifter with the spade, the corms inserted and the turf returned.

Once established, the roots will increase undisturbed for several years.
It is important that the leaves which follow the flowers should not be cut off before they have finished their growth; hence the necessity to avoid mowing the grass in which they grow until well into May.
Crocus in beds which are needed for later occupants may be taken up and dried in the sun as soon as their leaves show signs of withering; clumps and lines in borders may be left untouched for as much as ten years; with time they form thick masses of bloom, incomparably finer than the “dotted” effect of newly-planted roots, but the crowding must not be allowed to go too far, and the clumps must be forked up and divided before there is any deterioration in size and quality of the flowers.

The crocus suffers from the attacks of mice on the roots; and in early spring the flowers are often torn to pieces by sparrows. Mice must be trapped – wire traps of the “break-back” pattern are the best – sparrows may be circumvented by stretching thin black cotton over the clumps on small sticks; the thread should be an inch or two above the flowers, and crossed several times. The following are the best of the named sorts:

• Sir Walter Scott – white, lilac striped.
• David Rizzio – deep purple.
• King of the Blues – purple, very large.
• Margo – pale mauve.
• Mont Blanc – pure white.
• Queen of Sheba – large yellow.
• Prince Albert – violet.

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