TOW Crocus Species

James Waddick
Mon, 03 Feb 2003 07:44:14 PST
Dear Tony;
	Thanks so much for your Crocus intro. I love it when there is 
an opinionated discussion based on experience. Also somewhat 
discouraging in regard to all that you can grow in the UK compared 
with my climatic challenge.

	I was sorry that you didn't mention one of my favorites, 
Crocus ancyrensis which has just started to bloom in a protected 
site. It is just appearing in less protected sites. This is a very 
cheap crocus and available everywhere. I love it because it is always 
the first to bloom and therefore 'The Best " (at least that week). It 
seem less tasty to critters that seem to love the exotic flavors of 
far more expensive species. Seems to be a very sturdy plant and I 
wouldn't be without it. Small flowers might be overpowering if larger 
and equally 'bright'.

	I just wish Crocus tommasinianus were as weedy here as you 
mention. It holds its own and critters seem to eat as many as fast as 
it multiplies. Viewed individually I love the way the flower colors 
shade from darker to lighter - a lovely wash of suffused color. None 
of the garish brightness found in some other common species.

	And we agree on Crocus banaticus. Always a fall wonder where 
most fall crocus have failed (C. speciosus hangs on, but does not 
multiply enough to encourage planting more). I grow mine in damp 
shade where it modestly seeds around and  has yet to miss fall bloom. 
Would love to get the alba form one of these years.

	Another reliable species C. sieberi has proved best in the cv 
'Firefly' and 'Tricolor', but I wish 'Bowles White' or 'Herbert 
Edelstein' were nearly as permanent. Seems the pricier the corm the 
faster it get's eaten.

	I have tried dozens of others, and keep a few hanging on in 
pots in a cold frame, but inevitably once in the ground they either 
succumb to rodents or weather.
	Although I am confounded. I grew Crocus goulimyi in my inner 
city garden where it bloomed reliably and in my current sub-sub-urban 
garden I cannot get it to grow at all. A lovely wistful thing in 
bloom. Crocus sativus does/did likewise. Obviously I need to find a 
happier site.

	Your article did inspire me to invest again, but I'll still 
wait for prices to go down on Crocus baytopiorum and the gorgeous 
orange C. grargaricus even the tongue twisting C. cvijicii.

	Of course the large gaudy "Dutch Hybrids" persist with little 
or no helping hand.

	Thanks so much for putting another dent in the wallet come fall.

		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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