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CROCUS speciosus

Image of Crocus speciosus

Ednie Flower Bulb, Inc.

Family

Iridaceae

Botanical Name

CROCUS speciosus

Plant Common Name

Large Autumn Crocus

General Description

One of the largest and most diverse crocuses, this fall-blooming beauty is native from Turkey to Central Asia.

A small herbaceous perennial that grows from a bulb-like storage organ known as a corm, Crocus speciosus sends up one or two fragrant, goblet-shaped flowers in early to mid autumn. Flower color ranges from pale lilac to deep purple-blue. Held singly atop ankle-high, stalk-like floral tubes, the up-facing flowers have six "petals" (or segments) in two whorls. In bright sun they open wide to reveal a white eye, yellow 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. Self-sowing readily, it is perfect for naturalizing in a lawn or woodland edge.

Among its many showy cultivars are 'Conquerer,' with very blue flowers; 'Oxonian,' with deep purple-blue blooms; 'Aitchisonii,' with large pale-lilac, dark-veined blossoms; and the white-flowered 'Albus.'

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 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

    Russia/Siberia, Turkey, Central Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Blue, Purple, Lavender, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark 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, Foundation, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes