Hocus Crocus

Springtime is truly magical.

After months of the dismal, dreariness of winter’s grey skies, cold, driving winds and torrential downpours, spring seems long overdue.

The crocus though, with the snowdrop flowering in more or less the same season, is to me at least, always the bridesmaid and never the bride. But I think it’s time to have a closer look at the crocus.

Crocus is a genus of plants from the iris family, of which there are an unbelievable 90 species. They are perennials which grow from a bulb-like organism known as a corm. Many are cultivated for their flowers appearing in winter and spring, with some species flowering in autumn. A jewel box full of colours from rich purples, pale pinks, vibrant oranges to pristine white and creams. Single coloured, bi-coloured and striped, there is so much to choose from. And did you know, the spice saffron is obtained from the stigma of Crocus sativus, one of the autumn flowering crocus?

In their native habitat, crocuses are generally found nestled in woodland settings in central and southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. As such, in a garden setting they look wonderful naturalised in lawns and underneath the canopy of deciduous trees and shrubs.

So scatter some crocus corms in your garden this autumn for a truly magical display next spring.

Author: Mike the Gardener

Freelance gardening writer, consultant and designer. Mike Palmer is a passionate and professional plantsman, offering services in garden writing, consultancy and garden design. Mike is also available for garden and plant related talks and presentations. Mike has been a professional horticulturalist for over fifteen years.

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