fall crocus

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Wed, 11 Aug 2004 08:57:35 PDT
Russell in Michigan wrote,

>I'm afraid I cannot see the rest of the fall crocuses so lightly 
>dismissed, Jim.  Crocus niveus, C. goulimyi, C. pulchellus, C. 
>cancellatus, and C. laevigatus can easily hold their own against C. 
>speciosus, as can C. banaticus, C. medius, and others.  I would recommend 
>growing a medley of these to prolong the fall crocus season.  Here, C. 
>cancellatus ssp. cancellatus is usually the earliest (September) and C. 
>laevigatus the latest (often blooming into January).

Even in western Oregon (winter lows typically in the mid-teens Fahrenheit), 
Crocus goulimyi and C. pulchellus are not winter-hardy in the open garden. 
C. cancellatus is moisture-intolerant.

The others mentioned are more persistent in the open, C. laevigatus being 
quite a surprise (I have it in an extremely well-drained position). I think 
that all commercial stock of C. medius is virus-infected, so it would have 
to be grown from seed (does anybody have some?). Other hardy fall crocuses 
include C. kotschyanus, C. cartwrightianus, C. hadriaticus, C. speciosus 
(probably the hardiest of all) and C. ochroleucus (another surprise). C. 
banaticus is winter-hardy but intolerant of summer drying, and for some 
reason very attractive to predators.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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