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Crocus: Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus'

Botanical name: Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus'

Common name: snow crocus

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: damp, neutral, sand
Zones: 4a thru 10a

deer resistant, winter interest

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description for "Crocus: Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus'"

'Prins Claus' is an early harbinger of spring. Blooming almost two weeks earlier than the larger flowered varieties, 'Prins Claus' will shoot through the snow in order to bloom. Each petal is white on the inside, & also white on the top portion of the outer petals, but a very deep navy purple on the bottom half or third. Some of them have a faint dusting of blue on the interior. With its dark purple blotches and narrow grass-like foliage, this is the perfect way to start the season. On a sunny day 'Prince Claus' is so wide open that the purple-blue blotches on the outside are invisible, & it appears to be a strikingly bright all-white crocus. On overcast days when the petals remain partially closed, the blotches are fully visible. It's kind of like having two different crocuses that take turns in that location. It's a Bunch-Flowering Crocus, so-named because individual bulbs are frequently multiflowering, hence a drift started with twenty-five bulbs can look very densely planted even for its first year. As it naturalizes & produces offsets, it will be still flowerier in years to come. Plant corms in clusters of at least 25 (we prefer 100 or more!) to catch the eye or combine with other spring bulbs for a spring bulb garden everyone will envy. Corms are easy to grow and naturalize well. Purchase extras for indoor forcing. --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Crocus chrysanthus 'Prins Claus' was introduced by C. M. Berbee of Stolpen, The Netherlands, in 1959. The cultivar name is for His Royal Highness Prince Claus of the Netherlands (1926-2002), born Claus von Amsberg, consort of Queen Beatrix of the House of Orange. Though a German aristocrat by birth, he was surprisingly humble as royalty go, & was noted during his lifetime for his support of the arts & culture.

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