Latin Name: Crocus spp.
Common Name: Crocus
Mature Height (ft): 4-8"
Mature Width: 2"

Mature Shape

Short, upright.
Mulch: Organic or inorganic.

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Spring blooming crocus is a favorite among gardeners, heralding the end of winter. Many species of crocus can actually bloom in winter months. I've seen crocus bloom as early as mid Janurary, although February and March are more common. There are many different species of crocus, most people choose them by color, height or bloom period. Their colors range from yellow to purple, lavender, violet and white, some in combination of colors. Commonly, Crocus chrysanthus, C. venus,  and C. angustifolius. C. tommasinianus is reputed to be one of the best for naturalizing in lawns of warm season turf. There early blooms will have come and gone before the grass greens up. The first two photos are the Dutch crocus', C. venus 'Flower Record' and "Pickwick'.

The fall blooming crocus aren't quite as popular, perhaps because they have competition from the great display of fall flowers. The expensive spice, saffron, is harvested from the fall blooming, purple Crocus sativus, the saffron crocus. Another dependable fall bloomer is Crocus speciosus albus (pictured), a white blooming crocus.

A rule of thumb for planting bulbs and corms is to plant them about twice as deep as their size, therefore, crocus should be planted about 2 inches deep. Whether you plant crocus for spring or fall color, it's hard to go wrong.

Use in Garden

Crocus are great in rock gardens, at the front of perennial beds, xeristrips and low water-use areas. The thin green leaves emerge early, bloom suddenly, and disappear until next year. The corms take up little space and can ge tucked in just about any sunny location.


If the corms are dug up while planting or weeding in the beds, just replant them to a depth of about 2 inches.