Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 23 Feb 2006 15:36:05 PST
Dear all,

At the meeting at Diana Chapman's in Northern California she expressed 
disappointment that more people did not respond to her question about which 
Crocus she might be able to grow successfully and appreciation that Jane 
McGary had written something helpful (the only response.) I remembered at 
the time wishing I had time to look up the ones I was growing so I could 
respond. I have purchased a number from Jane's surplus list and started 
growing Crocus from seed as well after a number of years ago when New 
Zealand members on the old IBS list suggested that Crocus might not need 
cold temperatures to thrive. Before I had ordered them from time to time 
from various sources and planted them out and most of them had diminished 
before they disappeared. I still have a few that return each year however.

Harold commented when displaying his slides of Crete that flowers in a 
Mediterranean climate that bloom in the fall may have a better chance of 
getting pollinated as there is less competition as less is in bloom at the 
time and the weather may be more hospitable as well. New Zealanders had 
recommended some of the fall blooming  species as being a good place to 
start for California growers. None of the fall blooming species I planted 
in the ground I ever see anymore, but I have wondered if our late start to 
our rainy season is a reason for this. Normally they would be finished 
blooming before the ground is very wet here. If you are growing them in 
pots you can water the fall blooming species early. I'm seeing fall 
blooming species now return that I am growing in containers although I hate 
growing more and more in containers. I can move them out of the rain which 
is another big problem I encounter. I am most successful with Crocus if 
they happen to bloom during a dry period. Crocus imperati is one Crocus 
that I planted out that returns every year. It blooms for me usually in 
December when we have a very good chance of it raining and often raining a 
lot. It starts out looking really nice, but ends up in tatters.

Crocus malyi opened late January this year followed by heavy rains so I was 
only able to enjoy it briefly. On the other hand Crocus angustifolius 
(Bronze form) from Jane chose to bloom during mostly dry weather and I have 
really enjoyed it. I've added some pictures of these three to the wiki and 
Crocus corsicus which bloomed in January.…

Tony Goode's Crocus pages I recommend highly:
Not only does he describe the species, but he gives you an idea about 
whether or not you might be able to grow them as he gives growing tips. I 
try to look for ones that don't need a lot of cold or summer water.

Mary Sue

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