Crocus kotschyanus

Jane McGary
Sat, 21 Oct 2006 10:51:24 PDT
It's true that Crocus kotschyanus lacks the color and/or size of some other 
fall crocuses. Here in the Pacific Northwest it survives where other 
crocuses disappear, and I think this reflects its tendency to pull down 
deep in the soil, past the point where voles would encounter and eat it. 
(C. ochroleucus has the same strategy.)

The one I have listed as "JRJK" (collectors' initials, I assume) came from 
Hoog & Dix some years ago. It is the most reliable bloomer here, although 
'Reliant' (a slightly smaller flower) is also good.

I think this species does well if kept almost entirely dry in summer, but 
it certainly can tolerate the small amount of summer moisture it gets in my 
big bulb border, which is dotted with its flowers these days.

Also in flower in the garden today are C. goulimyi, C. speciosus, C. 
serotinus, and C. niveus. In the bulb frame I also see C. mathewii, C. 
oreocreticus, C. boryi, and some others I don't remember at the moment. C. 
hermoneus, C. moabiticus, and C. ochroleucus, all from the Near East, will 
bloom later.

This year I put a lot of the crocus pots in the frame under wire screen to 
keep field mice out of them. It's ugly, and sometimes the flowers don't 
find their way through the mesh, and I can't read the labels or weed the 
pots easily, but I figure it's worth it.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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