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Crocus cartwrightianus

Flowering Time




Native Climate


Wild Habitat

Rocky hillsides, in scrub or thin woodland

Distinctive Features

Three long bright red style branches. Flowers stay open at night. Finely fibrous corm tunic, reticulated

Closest Relatives

Crocus oreocreticus; Crocus moabiticus

Cultivation Requirements

Warm dryish summer rest.   Winter protection best away from native region.


Usually available from specialist bulb suppliers. White form in commerce

Very variable in flower colour and markings, almost all forms are very attractive when in flower.   The style branches can be harvested for use as saffron.   It is thought that Crocus sativus (cultivated for saffron) is a selection of Crocus cartwrightianus.   Crocus tournefortii is the only other species whose flowers remain open at night.   It is likely that these two, which have an overlapping distribution are pollinated by night flying insects (moths?).

Crocus cartwrightianus

Crocus cartwrightianus

Crocus cartwrightianus

Crocus cartwrightianus

Crocus cartwrightianus

  • Corms and Tunics
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Stamens and Styles
  • Pollination and Seeds