You might pop them coming up through the snow, showing off their beautiful purple to pink, white, or yellow blossoms like a formal announcement of the season. Or they may be planted as a floral carpet in some local or garden exotic. They’re beautiful, they’re abundant, and they’re well worth planting wherever you are, especially with the many types of crocuses you could be enjoying.
Often the first blooms of the season, these beauties are great for bee gardens for providing early seasonal food for the insects, they produce the little threads we refer to as the spice saffron, and they are simply gorgeous and easy to grow. So, these many varieties are worth considering for your container garden, flower bed, or even herbal garden.
C. chrysanthus ‘Ard Schenk’
With classic white blooms shining out orange anthers and golden heart, the ‘Ard Schenk’ crocus is a stunning option for any garden. The beautiful blooming plant is native to the Balkans and Turkey and grows up to 4 inches tall in full sun to partial shade. They thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. chrysanthus ‘Zwanenburg Bronze’
Finding a red-tinge to any crocus bloom is an unusual feat, but the ‘Zwanenburg Bronze’ produces just that color in the early blooming variety. Especially fragrant blooms on this variety help to make them exceptionally popular in raised beds and container gardens, as well as indoor plants. They grow natively in Turkey and the Balkans, up to 4 inches in height in full sun to partial shade and thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. Tommasinianus – Snow Crocus
A pale, lavender heirloom crocus around since 1847, the Snow Crocus is a particularly popular variety of early blooming flowers. The near-silver petals shimmer with colors and happen to be both resistant to squirrels and among the earliest blooming crocuses each year. They are native to southern Europe, bloom happily in full sun to partial shade, at up to 6 inches in height, and thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’
For a stunning blend of white and pale, lemon-yellow blooms, look no further than the ‘Cream Beauty’ variety. The flower has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award for Garden Merit and comes natively from the Balkans and Turkey. Thriving in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8, to a height of 4 inches, these beauties require anywhere from full sun to partial shade.
C. sativus – Saffron Crocus
While the origins of this particular flowering plant are unknown (suspected: Greece), the saffron crocus is famous the world over for its rich spicy stamen threads. The plant tends to be one of the more expensive varieties of crocus for this reason: it takes about 4000 stamens to create a single ounce of the exotic spice! Thankfully easy to grow, however, the saffron crocus is a fall bloomer and thrives in USDA Growing Zones 6 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.
C. chrysanthus – Blue Pearl
Pale, pearly blue petals proceed from the demure stems of the Blue Pearl crocus. The soft blooms appear in March and April, depending on the location, and present stunning contrast to yellow and white flowers of any species around them. They thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. chrysanthus – Orange Monarch
Best planted in groups of 20 to 50, the Orange Monarch crocus is a stunning offering of orange-gold blooms. They thrive in chillier climates, USDA Growing Zones 3 to 7. They’re sun lovers, so plant them where they will get plenty of brilliant sunlight to encourage their early spring blooming.
C. vernus ‘Grand Maitre’
A giant crocus, the Grand Maitre, or “grand master” of crocuses, is a later blooming species, perfect for staggering blooms through the season. Bright sunny days encourage the plant to open wide the petals wherein the bright orange stamens show themselves off. They thrive occur naturally in Alpine regions of Europe and thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. chrysanthus – Advance
Hitting up to 3 inches in height, the Advance crocus thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. They love sunshine and tolerate drought, popping out yellow blooms with purple and cream streaks. They are easy to care for and tend to be worry-free, even for beginners. They also happen to be one of the earliest blooming varieties.
C. vernus – Yellow Mammoth
A deer-resistant, large crocus popping in pools of sunshine, the Yellow Mammoth is a hardy flowering plant that thrives in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 9. The gorgeous plants hit heights of 6 inches, making them one of the largest crocus varieties available.
C. sieberi subsp. atticus ‘Firefly’
The ‘Firefly’ has yellow and purple blooms. It loves rock gardens. The plant thrives in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade. The purple blossoms draw in pollinators with their vivid yellow throats.
C. vernus ‘Pickwick’
Dating from the 1920s as a crocus cultivar, the Pickwick reminds folks of seersucker cloth with white stripes and deep purple highlights. The large, early-blooming plants typically appear before Easter (or right around them), often coming up through the snow. They have bright yellow centers which really pop in the lovely blooms. Appropriate for USDA Growing Zones 3 to 9, they are cold-hardy and reach up to 6 inches in height in full sun to partial shade.
C. vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’
Names for Joan of Arc, these gorgeous crocuses are easily naturalized in the lawn, providing vivid coloration as a ground cover. The bright white flowers shouldn’t receive heavy summer irrigation, though, as they tend to lie dormant in summer. They’re native to Alpine regions of Europe and love full sun to partial shade in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
C. vernus ‘Zenith’
Referencing a point in the sky or the peak of a distant mountain, the Zenith crocus lives up to its name with shimmering ethereal blue petals. The plant is native to Alpine regions in Europe, thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8 and loves full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They reach up to 4 inches in height.
C. sieberi ‘Tricolor’
An early bloomer, the Tricolor crocus offers up violet petals with yellow and white throats, drawing attention to their beauty immediately. The striking plants thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8 and love full sun or partial shade. Growing between 4 and 6 inches, the height is equaled by large petals.
C. chrysanthus ‘Skyline’
Appearing similar to the Pickwick crocus, the Skyline has striated petals with blue instead of purple and tends to be a rarer form of the flower. Many folks interested in this blooming perennial find bulbs in trades and swaps rather than in nurseries or online retail sites. They bloom early, with heights up to 6 inches, and thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.
C. vernus ‘Flower Record’
Deep purple blooms develop on the ‘Flower Record’ crocus. The blooms are large, appearing to have delicate round petals per each and reach upward of 6 inches in height. They thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.
C. chrysanthus ‘Romance’
Buttery-yellow or mildly orange large, elegant petals float to the air in the ‘Romance’ crocus each spring. Growing to 2 or 3 inches tall, the petite variety is resplendent in drifts of 25 or more, drawing all the attention to their lovely, unique coloring and romantic charm. Originating in Turkey and the Balkans, these bloomers thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8, as long as they’re planted in full sun to partial shade.
C. chrysanthus ‘Gipsy Girl’
Bees will buzz their way to the yellow ‘Gipsy Girl’ crocus when they pop up in springtime. They’re a marvelous cultivar to grow in naturalized waves in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8. They prefer bright full sun to partial shade, hit heights of 3 to 4 inches and come in the unusual pattern of gold blooms with dark brown stripes running down their petals.
C. chrysanthus – Golden Crocus
Blooming in orange-yellow dress with heady, sweet aromas, the Golden Crocus is a stunning hybrid option that will complement the garden patches, wherever they grow. The vivid flowers thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8 and welcome full sunlight to partial shade.
C. bifloris – Scottish Crocus
Early blooming with stunning white flowers painted with purple stripes, the Scottish crocus features yellow centers as an added color pop bonus. The unique blooms catch the eye first thing in the season, drawing in and caring for pollinators when they most need some early food.
C. tommasinianus ‘Barr’s Purple’
With slender purple flowers, Barr’s Purple crocus drops out into a cup-shaped bloom when the full sun strikes the petals. Late February to early March marks their blossom times with heights of 4 to 6 inches. They’re deer resistant and encourage pollinators to frequent them early in the season, providing them with much-needed pollen as the snow begins to melt away.
C. tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’
Deep purple petals so deep they’re nearly red in some cases find life in the pale-based blooms of the Ruby Giant crocus. The grass-like foliage adds a unique flair to the light beauties, while helping to keep the deer away. The plant is often chosen for borders and rock gardens, where they thrive in full to partial sun.
C. Vernus ‘Blue Moon Mix’
A Dutch crocus variety, the Blue Moon Mix comes in white, light purple, and dark purple large blooms. The vivid blooming plants do best when grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 8, planted in either autumn or March. Be sure they receive full sun for best, beautiful blue results.
C. minimus ‘Spring Beauty’
Pale lilac petals painted with dark purple or white and centered in pale, creamy yellow describes the ‘Spring Beauty’. The elegant, fanciful flowers should be planted in full to partial light, in well-draining soil, and preferably in large drifts of 25 or more for the most powerful punch of vibrant beauty.
C. tommasinianus – Roseus Crocus
White hearts darken into violet purple blooms with orange centers in the Roseus crocus. The gorgeous blooms are squirrel resistant and do well in many styles of gardening spaces, including as carpet plants, growing in collections of 9 bulbs per square foot, ideally. They need full sun to partial shade and thrive in USDA Growing Zones 3 to 8.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Hana Richterova
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