Crocus speciosus cultivars

Jane McGary
Sat, 21 Oct 2006 10:44:25 PDT
Crocus speciosus is the one fall crocus I always recommend for general 
garden use here in the Pacific Northwest and for planting elsewhere in 
North America, since it's tolerant of summer water and cold winters. In the 
garden I have 'Cassiope', 'Conqueror', 'Oxonian', 'Artabir', and 'Albus'. I 
also have a pot of 'Lakeside Beauty', a Janis Ruksans selection that I'm 
trying to bulk up. All of them persist well and, because I plant them near 
the house where there are fewer rodents, they don't get eaten too often. 
They also self-sow.

John Grimshaw wrote, "The great fault of C. speciosus is that its flowers 
soon fall over, but in
>any sort of still weather they stay up for several days and give a glorious

I wonder if this falling over, which also occurs in Colchicum, happens when 
the flower is pollinated? It would make sense: once it's done its job, 
there is no reason for a flower to keep standing and attracting pollinators 
that otherwise would visit other flowers of the same species. Falling over 
would seem to be a strategy for increasing the number of flowers on a 
clone, or in a local population, that are pollinated and produce seeds.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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