Fall Crocus

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 16 Oct 2010 17:34:35 PDT
Arnold wrote,.00
>The Crocus speciosus flops over and rain totally destroys them.

Like many other Crocus species, and indeed like many bulbs, C. 
speciosus grows naturally in turf, so it has the support of grasses 
and other plants around it when in flower. My old garden (still for 
sale!!) has a nice group of it that comes up through the prostrate 
gray-leaved heather 'Sister Anne'.

I think that crocuses naturally flop over, rain or no rain, once 
they've been pollinated and no longer need to hold up their flowers 
to attract bees. They have no stem above ground (only a floral tube); 
the seeds generally develop below the soil surface and in some 
species pop up on a short stem once ripe.

Crocus speciosus is indeed a wonderful, widely adapted plant, but 
it's hard to acquire because of its fall-blooming habit, which means 
it doesn't ship along with all the other Dutch-grown bulbs. There are 
several named varieties, such as 'Conquest', 'Oxonian', and 
'Cassiope', and one I have from Janis Ruksans is called 'Lakeside 
Beauty'. Among American suppliers, they can sometimes be had from 
McClure and Zimmerman.

Mine, at the moment, are flowering in a pot, and I'm waiting for the 
irrigation installer to finish his trenching next week so I can know 
where I can plant almost anything.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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