“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
The Crocus, that first sign of spring, certainly blooms in what would be considered adverse conditions for most other flowers. Often appearing even when there is still snow on the ground, their vibrant shades of yellow, cream, lavender and purple help awaken within us the knowledge that spring is indeed on the way.
Part of the Iris family, Crocuses grow in clumps close to the ground. Crocuses have the ability to adapt in many different growing conditions, and can thus be found in a variety of settings, from open lawns to wooded areas, and even costal locations. They do best in direct sun, but can be planted under trees, as there isn’t foliage when Crocuses bloom. Because of their adaptability, they can be used along garden boarders, in rock gardens and even in containers. However, it can be argued that they look best in “wild” patches in open spaces where their colors really pop against the background.
There are over 80 varieties of Crocus flowers, some of which bloom in spring and some of which bloom in fall. Spring blooming Crocuses are vital to bees. As an early bloomer, the Crocus provides pollen at a crucial time, allowing bees to create bee bread, which is necessary for self-propagation. One of the easiest ways to contribute to the suffering bee population is to plant Crocuses. As is true with most perennials that grow from bulbs, tubers or, like the Crocus, corms the time to plant is in the fall.
If you don’t already have Crocus of your own to enjoy, be sure to look out for them as you drive through our beautiful Tri-Corner Region. And check back here in the fall, for tips on how to plant your own!