Crocus tommasinianus

26 Feb

Crocus tommasinianus (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Crocus tommasinianus (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering Period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10cm

Eventual Spread: 5cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Iridaceae

Crocus tommasinianus is a deciduous, dwarf perennial corm with a tufted growth habit. Its dark green leaves are linear with a silvery central stripe and entire leaf margins. The leaves appear at the same time as the flower and remain until early summer when the wither. The flowers of the plant are borne singly, up to 5cm long, goblet in shape with six petals joined at the base of the flower. The petal colour ranges from pale purple/ lilac to red/ purple. The stamens are yellow/ orange and generally appear in pairs of 3.

Crocus tommasinianus Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Crocus tommasinianus Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Crocus tommasinianus,  commonly known as the Woodland Crocus, Tomasini’s Crocus, Early Crocus and Snow Crocus, it is native to south eastern Europe.

The etymological root of the binomial name Crocus is derived from the Greek name Krokos, a thread, which was actually the filaments of the styles being the source of the dye. Tommasinianus was named after the botanist Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879).

The landscape architect may find Crocus tommasinianus useful for naturalising areas of grass, including grass banks. As this corm is tolerant of dappled shade it is suitable naturalizing under deciduous trees.

Ecologically, Crocus tommasinianus is pollinated by bees and beetles. It is a valuable source of pollen and nectar for insects in late winter.

Crocus tommasinianus En Mass (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Crocus tommasinianus En Mass (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Crocus tommasinianus has been awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Societies annual Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Crocus tommasinianus  prefers moist, moderately fertile, well drained soil. It will tolerate most pH of soil. It will not tolerate water-logging.

Crocus tommasinianus requires little maintenance. If naturalised in grass, the grass should not be mown until the leaves of the Crocus have died down.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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