Growing Crocus

Botanical Name:

Crocus

Life Cycle:

Perennial bulb

Planting Time:

Spring or fall, for blooms in 4-6 months.

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Height:

3 to 6 inches

Exposure:

Full sun

Soil:

Poor to average, well-drained soil

Hardiness:

Zones 3 to 9

Bloom Time:

Early spring or early fall

Flower:

Yellow, purple, lavender and white blooms

Foliage:

Green

Propagation:

Corms

Suggested Use:

Beds, borders and containers

Growing Hints:

Buy spring flowering crocus corms to plant in the fall (or vice versa). Plant in groups of a dozen or more for the best show. Plant them at a depth of 3 to 4 inches spaced about 3 inches apart.

Interesting Facts:

The small red parts in the center of each crocus sativa bloom are the source of saffron; the spice used to add delicate flavor to dishes or used to color food yellow. To save your own saffron: after your crocus blooms, remove and dry the red stigma from the flower and store in an airtight container.

Note: There are many varieties of crocus. Make sure you have the correct variety, Crocus Sativa, before you try using the stigmas for cooking. Some varieties of crocus are poisonous.

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May 13, 20080 found this helpful

Please, oh please, be sure that you have the right species of crocus if you are going to harvest the "saffron". Saffron crocuses are FALL-BLOOMING crocuses, and a very specific kind at that. Not all crocuses give edible saffron!

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March 7, 20120 found this helpful

A variety of crocus that is supposed to be disliked by voles (all mine were eaten by these brats) is called Tomasina. It's worth a try!

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