Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crocus Plant Profiles

During the winter months I thought it would be fun to showcase plant profiles of my favorite garden workhorse plants and new plants I'm interested in growing. This week's plant profile is crocus.

Crocus (Crocus vernus) are a welcome sign of early spring, signaling the end of winter. There are some Crocus species that bloom in the fall. Crocus are a wonderful ground cover and perfect bulb placed below taller plants. Crocus are a member of the iris family and a hardy perennial. Crocus grow two to six inches tall, with a width of three to six inches. The cup shaped flowers come in purple, white, yellow, and lavender, some featuring bi-colored blooms. Crocus grow well in drifts, they have a grass like leaf that mixes in well with lawns. When growing crocus in lawns wait until the leaves have died back and nourished the bulb for next season before mowing. Crocus bulbs, or corms, form a new corm on top of the old corm. Small corms (cormels) grow around the base of each corm. Crocus corms produces from one to five blooms from each corm. Crocus naturalize well and can be forced indoors for early bloom during winter. Crocus prefer full sun to partial shade, have good drought tolerance, and like well-drained soil. Dig up and divide Crocus when crowded after the leaves have died back from the corm.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons:

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