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Crocus spp. (KRO-kus)
Crocuses are corms that produce single, goblet-shaped blossoms
that taper into tubular shapes at the base. The flowers can be
up to 3 inches long.
Crocuses are most often seen in hues of yellow, mauve, blue,
lavender, purple or white. They are often striped.
Individual flowers will last from two to five days, but plants
can last from seven to 12 days. The lasting quality will vary
greatly by cultivar as well as the temperature and light levels
in which the plants are displayed. Crocuses usually are
discarded when blossoming is finished because they can’t be
forced indoors a second time; however, the corms can be planted
outdoors if desired.
Crocuses usually are available in the late winter through
spring, but there also are fall-blooming varieties.
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Bright, diffused light
is best for indoors. Full sun or filtered sunlight is best if
Crocuses are displayed outside.
WATER Keep the soil evenly
moist. Severe drying will cause leaf yellowing and drop and also
will delay flower development.
TEMPERATURE Cool areas (55 F
to 65 F) are best for displaying Crocuses. They can be stored in
floral coolers at 33 F to 35 F for two to three days.
HUMIDITY Keep humidity at
moderate levels for Crocuses.
FERTILIZER Apply a bloom
fertilizer in moderation at every watering. An African violet
food is a good choice.
SOIL Crocuses do best in a
light, well-drained potting soil.
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Some
varieties of Crocuses show signs of ethylene sensitivity. Make
sure your plants have been treated with an anti-ethylene agent
at the grower level or during transportation.
BLOOMS Market Crocuses when
they are just sprouting.
PESTS Crocus blooms attract
thrips and aphids. Control them with a solution of insecticidal
MEANING “Crocus” is Greek
for saffron. The stigmas of C. sativus (saffron Crocus) are used
to flavor food and as a dye.
FAMILY Crocuses are members
of the Iridaceae (Iris family). Common relatives include Iris,
Ixia (African corn lily), Freesia and Gladiolus.
ORIGINS Crocuses are native
to areas from the Mediterranean region to Southwest Asia.
The corms can be toxic to some people and other animals if
eaten, but these flowering plants are listed as an allergy-safe
brilliant displays These plants are the perfect choice for
spring displays. They stand well alone or grouped with other
spring-flowering and foliage plants.
Some information provided by:
Some information provided by:
The Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
University of Saskatchewan Garden Line,
Colorado State Cooperative Extension,
SAF’s Flower & Plant Care manual
You may reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
Photos courtesy of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information
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