Alphabetical Plant Listing

Crocus Types & Recommendations

Crocus chrysanthus, Crocus sieberi, Crocus tommasinianus, Crocus vernus (Crocus)


Very few early-flowering bulbous, tuberous and cormous plants are as extensively planted as the Crocus. Indispensable for each and every garden, they join snowdrops, winter aconites and glory-of-the-snow as the very first heralds of spring. The bright yellow ones, so often seen, bring the first bit of 'warmth' to the new year. More than 100 species are known, but only thirty have been cultivated. The most popular crocuses are the ones that no longer closely resemble their wild ancestors.

  • Crocuses have narrow leaves with a silver-gray stripe down the middle. The plant’s scientific name, Crocus sativus, is Latin derived from the Greek word, krokos. With this name, the ancient Greeks were most likely referencing the plant used at that time as a source of saffron.
  • Some crocuses flower in the fall, but these are fairly rare. Crocuses are very similar in appearance to the Colchicum, to which they are distantly related. The Crocus can be distinguished from the Colchicum by the number of stamens: the Crocus has three, while the Colchicum has six.
  • The effect of crocuses is especially beautiful when they are planted in large numbers. For optimal effect, 100 to 150 corms should be planted.
  • One important growing condition is that crocuses must have a well-drained soil. Crocus bulbs remaining in the ground will always bloom a bit earlier than the ones planted the previous year. The calyx-shaped flowers open only when the sun shines or when there is a lot of light; they close up in rainy weather and at night.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Crocus
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 3" - 6" (7cm - 15cm)
Spread 2" - 4" (5cm - 10cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Crocus
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Winter
Height 3" - 6" (7cm - 15cm)
Spread 2" - 4" (5cm - 10cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Landscaping Ideas Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
Not sure which Crocus to pick?
Compare All Crocus
Great Plant Combination
Ideas with Crocus
Guides with Crocus

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.