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Crocus: Crocus vernus 'Vanguard'

Botanical name: Crocus vernus 'Vanguard'

Common name: Dutch 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

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description for "Crocus: Crocus vernus 'Vanguard'"

Large flowered Dutch Crocus 'Vanguard' is a variety selected from a Russian form of C.vernus, a distinctive shade of silvery blue-violet outside, light purple inside. 'Vanguard' is very early flowering. For many gardeners, large-flowering crocuses are one of the most welcomed and familiar flowers of early spring. Lovely in rock gardens, naturalized in lawns or grouped together under trees and shrubs, these Dutch crocuses are easily grown and trouble-free. Use: border, natural, rock garden, forcing. Leaves are basal and grasslike, with a silver midrib. If you are not a strict "clean lawn" person, crocus are welcomed additions sown freely in the lawn in generous drifts, especially at the end of walks, along the edge of drives, or beneath trees. This works especially well in warm season lawns, because by the time you mow the lawn for the first time, it's ok to to mow the crocus foliage. Grows best in gritty soil and full sun. Crocus bulbs are easy to grow and require very little maintenance if they are provided enough sunlight and well-drained soil. If your crocus bulbs stop blooming well after a couple years you may need to dig them up and divide them to encourage full blooms. The best time to divide your crocus plants would be just as the foliage has completely yellowed and died. --edited by dtd siegelgirl


Crocus vernus are the wild crocus of the Alps and Pyrenees, the forerunner of beautiful and numerous selections and hybrids known collectively as 'Dutch Crocus.' Crocus bulbs have very few disease or pest problems as long as you purchase healthy bulbs without soft or rotting spots. However, squirrels are fond of newly planting crocuses and will sometimes dig them up and eat them. You can protect your bulbs buy planting them under a wire mesh (make sure the openings are large enough for the plant to grow through) like chicken wire, or dog kennel paneling.

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