Crocus list

Jane McGary
Fri, 27 Sep 2002 17:02:14 PDT
Thanks to David Stephens for pointing out many good crocuses in the new
issue of our newsletter, "The Bulb Garden." There are some good ideas here
for southern gardens where the typical Dutch crocuses do not flourish.

I have found that certain species David recommends do not survive Pacific
Northwest winters outdoors: C. goulimyi, C. laevigatus, C. nudiflorus, C.
tournefortii, all autumn=flowering species from low elevations near the
Mediterranean. However, they all flourish in my bulb frame, where C.
nudiflorus is just opening the first crocuses of the year. (Like school,
the bulb-grower's year begins in September.)

Warm-climate gardeners might find C. vernus (the ancestor of the big Dutch
commercial varieties) unsuited to their climate. It likes cool conditions
and summer moisture.

A couple of the species David mentions are almost impossible to obtain as
bulbs, and rarely available as seed: C. boryi and C. kosaninii. Neither is
spectacular, so you're not missing much unless you're a dedicated collector.

I would add two species to the spring-flowering list instead: C. corsicus
and C. minimus. These very closely related species do well in the open
garden here despite their lowland origins -- possibly the warm, dry West
Coast summers are more to their liking than those of the UK. They're showy,

I thought C. biflorus was missing (!) but now I see that its name has just
been shuffled to the right in the list format. The "two species" mentioned
after it are biflorus and chrysanthus; a lot of the crocuses sold as
"chrysanthus" are in fact biflorus or hybrids of the two.

Jane McGary
NW Oregon, USA

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