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Crocus: Crocus laevigatus 'Fontenayi'

Botanical name: Crocus laevigatus 'Fontenayi'

Common name: winter crocus

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: damp, neutral, sand
Zones: 6a thru 9a

deer resistant, winter interest, fall interest

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description for "Crocus: Crocus laevigatus 'Fontenayi'"

'Fontenayi' blooms December through February; thus it may need a sheltered location. In the bud, 'Fontenayi' petals are buff-colored with purple feathering; the flowers open flat to reveal a starry, rose-lilac flower scented like freesia. Like colchicums, winter crocuses are delivered in late August and September. Plant your corms promptly so they'll have time to sprout and bloom. The colorful flowers, 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


Greek species. Fontenay winter crocus is an old gardened form with lilac flowers. Their first year in the ground, the striped buds of this crocus popped up by late December & by the end of the first week of January were blooming gung-ho amidst their own thread-thin grass. Their second year they were in full bloom earlier, flowering at mid-December. If you get on your knees to sniff the blooms, they have a scent of honey. Our temperate zone 8 suits this winter crocus well. They can be planted down to Zone 6 with success but will need a protected area, being native of Crete & Greece & not liking to get too awfully cold nor too warm. It likes to be planted in maximum sunshine, though ours has done well with only partial sunlight through the winter-naked deciduous tree limbs. Because they are smaller than most crocuses, they can get lost in groundcover, so are best placed at the front of a garden & not in turf. [Source:]

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