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Crocus: Crocus speciosus 'Cassiope'

Botanical name: Crocus speciosus 'Cassiope'

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, neutral, sand
Zones: 4a thru 8b

deer resistant, winter interest, fall interest

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description for "Crocus: Crocus speciosus 'Cassiope'"

The large flowers of 'Cassiope' are aniline-blue with a yellow base. The variety blooms late in the autumnal season just as the constellation of the same name is visible. The stars remind us of Cassiopeia's boasting which angered the gods who banished her to the heavens where she sits eternally, her arms held high in supplication. Like colchicums, autumn flowering crocuses are delivered in late August and September. Plant your corms promptly so they'll have time to sprout and bloom later in September, October and November. 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


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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