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Crocus vernus vernus

Flowering Time

Spring

Distribution

Austria; Czechoslovakia; Hungary; Italy; Balkan States; Poland; Romania; Ukraine

Native Climate

Cold winters with snow

Wild Habitat

Woodland and woodland clearings, sometimes in subalpine meadows

Distinctive Features

Variable.   Flower shades of purple, sometimes white or striped.   Corm tunic fine fibres

Closest Relatives

Crocus vernus albiflorus

Cultivation Requirements

Most forms are good garden plants in areas with summer rainfall.  

Availability

Hybrid cultivars widely available in commerce. True species available in several forms from specialist bulb suppliers

With a very widespread distribution it should come as no surprise to learn that this is a very variable species.   Some of these forms have been grown under different names but are now included under the umbrella of the Crocus vernus complex.   Crocus 'napolitanus' is a form of Italian origins, Crocus 'scepusiensis' and Crocus 'heuffelianus' are names formerly applied to plants from the Balkans and populations further east.   A selection of the many variants are pictured below.

The widely grown Dutch crocus of commerce are either selected forms or hybrids of Crocus vernus vernus - an example below illustrates the size differential between these and the true species.

Crocus vernus vernus

Crocus vernus vernus

Crocus vernus vernus

Several examples of dark tipped forms of Crocus vernus vernus ('scepusiensis/heuffelianus')

Crocus vernus vernus

'Typical' Crocus vernus vernus (right) and Dutch hybrid Crocus (left)

Crocus vernus vernus

Crocus vernus vernus

Crocus vernus vernus

Crocus vernus vernus

Note the white style of this form.

Crocus vernus vernus

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