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CROCUS pulchellus

Image of Crocus pulchellus

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

CROCUS pulchellus

Plant Common Name

Fall Crocus

General Description

Mocking winter's approach, this native of southeastern Europe and western Turkey opens its beautiful goblet-shaped flowers in fall.

A small herbaceous perennial that grows from a bulb-like storage organ known as a corm, Crocus pulchellus sends up one or two pale to medium lilac-blue flowers in early to mid autumn. The honey-scented blooms have deep lilac longitudinal veins. Held singly atop ankle-high, stalk-like floral tubes, the flowers have six "petals" (or segments) in two whorls. Almost globular when closed, in bright sun they open wide to reveal a deep yellow eye, creamy white anthers, and orange-yellow stigmas. The grassy, medium-green foliage emerges after flowering and usually lingers into spring.

Grow this alluring crocus in full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained soil. It needs several weeks of winter chill to grow and flower well. Plant the corms in late summer at a depth of two to three times their height. This crocus is lovely in clumps in the rock garden or perennial border, or dotted among evergreen groundcovers for protection from wind and feet. It can also be planted in lawns. It is similar to and will hybridize with Crocus speciosus. The cultivar 'Albus' is one of the most beautiful white-flowered crocuses.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3"-5" / 7.6cm - 12.7cm

  • Width

    2"-4" / 5.1cm - 10.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Turkey

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes