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Hybrid Crocus, Spring Crocus
Providing a welcome burst of color at winter's end, this crocus opens its cheerful flowers even as the last remnants of snow linger. Introduced in the early twentieth century, it is a hybrid of Crocus tommasinianus and the large "Dutch crocus" (C. vernus).
Growing from a small bulb-like storage organ known as a corm, this diminutive herbaceous perennial sends up one or two soft lilac flowers with silvery gray exteriors in winter or early spring, a week or two before the cultivars of C. vernus bloom. The grassy, shiny, dark green leaves emerge with the flowers. Held singly atop ankle-high, stalk-like floral tubes, the up-facing, goblet-shaped blooms have six "petals" (or segments) in two whorls. In bright sun the flowers open wide to reveal their yellow anthers and orange stigmas. The floral tube is white with purple staining. The foliage goes dormant by late spring.
Grow 'Vanguard' in friable, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade (when it is in leaf). Plant corms at a depth of two to three times their height in late summer or early fall. Ten or more weeks of near-freezing temperatures are needed to induce flowering. Group this little beauty in rock gardens, mixed borders, alpine troughs, or turfgrass, or force it in pots to help quell winter doldrums.
8 - 1
3 - 8
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
Bulb or Corm or Tuber
Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm
2"-4" / 5.1cm - 10.2cm
Early Spring, Late Winter
Violet, Gray, Silver
Container, Lawns and Turf, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
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