The Crocus…a harbinger of spring

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  It still feels very wintery here in the UK with low temperatures and bitingly icy winds. So thank goodness for little bursts of colour which are slowly starting to appear in our gardens…in the form of crocuses. For many people, the appearance of these dainty blooms heralds the beginning of spring. After the barrenness of the winter, the yellow, white and purple petals of the crocus are just so lovely to see…


A member of the iris family, the name crocus comes from the Greek word Krokos which means saffron.   Saffron is produced from the dried stigmas of an autumn-flowering crocus. Most crocuses have short grassy leaves that emerge with or after the flower buds. And the flowers are six-petalled short-stemmed goblets. The main spring flowering season is February through to April.


Crocuses, which grow from corms, thrive in the leafy soil found under deciduous trees and love to be planted where they will be in the sunshine at flowering time. A well-known variety is C. tommasinianus which appears in early spring.  Its flowers vary from lilac to deep purple, sometimes paler on the outside.


Did you know that in the language of flowers, crocus means cheerfulness, youthful and gladness?

(Images : Flickr - kh1234567890 / sirwiseowl / sloanpix / ahisgett)

See Sarah Raven's article all about crocuses - she went to visit a producer in Holland, and came back so inspired - here she shares her favourite varieties (Crocus chrysanthus 'Advance' is stunning!).

Thanks for reading!