Fall Crocus

John Grimshaw j.grimshaw@virgin.net
Sun, 17 Oct 2010 22:49:30 PDT
I am particularly fond of Crocus pulchellus, with dainty pale blue flowers 
enlivened by a golden ring in the centre. It is persistent and vigorous 
here, growing well in thin turf under trees and is even self-sowing quite 
well in my parents' lawn. The white form is lovely and I particularly like 
of the almost grey - or mother-of-pearl -clone 'Zephyr', though I think this 
is a hybrid with C. speciosus. It gives white seedlings like C. pulchellus 
'Albus' though.

Hybrids with C. speciosus are inevitable if the two are grown together and 
these can be very attractive. There's a large patch of a clonal one in the 
garden at Colesbourne Park that has obviously been spreading about for 
decades (pic on my blog). These hybrids tend to be more the size, shape & 
darker colour of C. speciosus but have a less divided stigma and the white 
anthers of C. pulchellus, usually with some yellow in the throat.

Jim McKenney is right to say that there is a difference in timing between 
clones in Crocus speciosus. Those planted in my lawn here, bought in from a 
Dutch supplier as C. speciosus, are very late (just getting going now) and 
rather pale - I'd prefer them darker and earlier. I am dubious that the 
various cultivars offered are really what they purport to be, but at least 
they give some variation.

John Grimshaw

Visit John Grimshaw's Garden Diary

Dr. John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

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