opening and closing of crocus; was: fall crocus
Tue, 17 Aug 2004 19:23:18 PDT
Jim McKenney wrote:

>Our discussion of fall blooming crocus has 
>resulted in Crocus tournefortii being mentioned. 
>I've had this species twice over the years, each 
>time from a different source. I find it curious that 
>two PBS contributors, each of whom has grown 
>and seen a lot of good plants, should rate this 
>species so highly. As I see it, it's just another 
>washy pale pinkish-blue crocus. In fact, I think 
>the corm is just as interesting as the flower.

Hi Jim,

It might come down to taste in things.  At one point in my bulb 
consciousness, I thought to myself "these dang number of crocus all look alike".  But upon 
closer inspection they do not.  Personally, I find C. tournefortii amongst the 
most beautiful and alluring of all crocus I've grown thus far... perhaps the 
photos don't do it justice.  On my web page, I write "[it is] the most 
sublimely beautiful autumn crocus of all, with open chalices of satiny lavender-blue, 
a heart of golden yellow, and those absurd divided styles of hot red-orange 
hanging outside the flower like a bell clapper.  Flowers in late October - 

The flowers are open, chalice-shaped, and ample with a certain "substance", a 
characteristic that can be hard to quantify.  The intricately divided 
red-orange styles that hang outside of the flower are hilarious and complete the 
allure of the species.

>These are the working person's crocus

Bingo!!!  As a working man myself... with a daily 1-1/2 hour commute each 
way, I often why I even bother to plant crocus; both spring and autumn types... 
as I know some species literally flower their heads off, yet I NEVER SEE THEM.  
I'm off to work in the early AM, and the buds are tightly furled, and when I 
get home in the evening with the last few specks of daylight, they are of 
course, tightly furled closed up as ever.  Same is true of Tulipa and other 
sun-reliant genera.  My hope is, that eventually when I retire one day, I will have 
such a collection as to amaze myself in what they actually look like in 
flower.  One can dream, or occasionally play hooky to see these beauties in their 

Mark McDonough Pepperell, Massachusetts, United States "New England" USDA Zone 5
>> web site under construction - <<
alliums, bulbs, penstemons, hardy hibiscus, western 
american alpines, iris, plants of all types!

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