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Crocus versicolor

Flowering Time



SE France; adjacent NW Italy

Native Climate


Wild Habitat

Stony and grassy places and in open woodland over limestone

Distinctive Features

Flower white, lilac, and purple, often with external stripes.   Corm tunic membranous ageing to parallel fibres

Closest Relatives

Crocus imperati

Crocus malyi

Cultivation Requirements

Easily grown in gardens given well drained soil. Tolerant of summer moisture


Specialist bulb suppliers.   Clone 'Picturatus' (white with purple stripes) is widely commonly offered

Once very widely grown with many named cultivars, today only 'Picturatus' is widely available.

Crocus malyi has almost uniformly white flowers which lack outer stripes and also differs in some leaf characteristics.   Crocus imperati usually has much more richly lilac coloured flowers and 'greener' leaves - those of Crocus versicolor are somewhat grey-green.  

Several forms are illustrated below in an attempt to illustrate the variable nature of this species.

Crocus versicolor

Crocus versicolor

Form close to cultivar 'Picturatus'

Crocus versicolor

Crocus versicolor

Crocus versicolor

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