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Crocus: Crocus speciosus

Botanical name: Crocus speciosus

Common name: Bieberstein's crocus

also known as (large autumn crocus)

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: damp, alkaline, clay
Zones: 3a thru 10b

deer resistant, fall interest

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description for "Crocus: Crocus speciosus"

Crocus speciosus is the earliest autumn flowering crocus to bloom. Easy to grow, corms spread rapidly by seed and by division, delighting us with a profusion of deep violet-blue flowers. Lightly forking the bed in summer when the corms are dormant dislodges the cormlets and disperses them more evenly around the bed. Plant your corms promptly so they'll have time to sprout and bloom later in September, October and November. The colorful flowers of autumn crocus, so unexpected, always stand in sharp contrast against the browns and golds of autumn, renewing the gardener's forgotten memories of spring. --edited by dtd siegelgirl


In Adventures with Hardy Bulbs, Louise Beebe Wilder is enthusiastic about the autumn flowering Crocus speciosus. It “is infinitely worth growing, all its ways are seemly, all its forms lovely.” For color in the garden, she much prefers it to the saffron crocus, C. sativus. The flowers of [C. speciosus] are distinguished by their remarkable (for a Crocus) blue tone–it is the bluest of all the Crocuses–and they are very large, the outer segments marked with fine veining, while the stigmata are conspicuous for their size, and the fact that they are divided into a mass of orange-scarlet threads. It is the first autumnal species to flower, and it is always startling when it comes bubbling through the earth, innocent of leaves, usually after a warm rain in late September.” — LBW

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