Crocus flavus

Jim McKenney
Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:11:46 PST
Last summer I received some corms of Crocus flavus from Jane McGary; the
corms, with their long hard necks, looked right, and now I see some tips of
bright chrome yellow poking up, too. 

Almost every account of the crocuses cites Crocus flavus as one of the
commonest crocuses in gardens. Yet when my plants finally bloom, that will
be the first time I've ever seen Crocus flavus - and that's coming from
someone who has avidly collected crocuses for decades. 

That's not the anomaly it might seem because, contrary to widespread
opinion, Crocus flavus in not a common crocus in our gardens and probably
never has been in North America. The reason Crocus flavus is widely cited as
common is because in the past the familiar garden cultivar 'Dutch Yellow' or
'Yellow Mammoth', which is presumably grown wherever crocuses are grown, was
for long thought to be a form of Crocus flavus. 'Dutch Yellow' is now
thought to be of hybrid origin, so all records of the past cultivation of
Crocus flavus in a given area are now suspect. 

The sunny morning has turned into an overcast afternoon here, and I just
came in from closing the cold frame - but not before taking another look
those emerging buds of Crocus flavus, for me a life list crocus. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where more Lachenalia are
coming into bloom inside under the plant lights. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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