Crocus chrysanthus

Crocus chrysanthus
Crocus chrysanthus
Crocus chrysanthus 'E.A. Bowles'
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Crocoideae
Genus: Crocus
Species: C. chrysanthus
Binomial name
Crocus chrysanthus
(L.) Herb.

Crocus chrysanthus (Snow Crocus) is a plant of the Crocus genus in the Iridaceae family. It grows wild in the Balkans and Turkey with vivid orange-yellow flowers. It has smaller corms and a small cup shaped flower, compared to the Giant Dutch Crocus (Crocus vernus), although produces more flowers per bulb than Crocus vernus. Its common name derives from the fact that it is an early crocus, blooming about two weeks earlier than the giant crocus, and may emerge through the snow in early spring. Its cultivars are used as ornamental plants. Leaves narrow and striped. Height: 3–4 inches (7.6–10 cm).


Crocus chrysanthus cultivars are selections from Crocus chrysanthus and hybrids of this species with several subsp. of Crocus biflorus and Crocus aerius. Yellow cultivars are selections of Crocus chrysanthus. Blue and white cultivars are hybrids or selections close to Crocus biflorus.

An intensive selection and hybridation programme wat initiated by Jan Hoog (Van Tubergen nursery) and E.A. Bowles.[1] Several of their numerous selections are still available. Examples:

  • ‘Advance’: inside yellow, outside violet-blue
  • ‘Ard Schenk’: white with bronze throat
  • ‘Blue Pearl’: pale lavendar or lobelia-blue with a bronze-yellow throat and base; rich blue tepal backs, paler within and with a yellow basal blotch
  • ‘Blue Peter’: midnight blue outside, palest blue within
  • ‘Cream Beauty’: creamy yellow with bronze throat
  • ‘Goldilocks’: butter yellow with bronze feathering
  • ‘Lady Killer’: Pale lilac-white interior and deep purple-violet exterior with white margins
  • ‘Prince Claus’: white, blue flash on exterior
  • ‘Romance’: inside creamy, outside blueish
  • ‘Saturnus’: yellow inside, dark purple outside
  • ‘Skyline’: insite light blue, outside bright blue
  • ‘Snow Bunting’: white insite, outside creamy white with lilac feathering; bronze throat
  • ‘Zwanenburg Bronze’: gold yellow, outside bronze


  1. ^ Martyn Rix & Roger Phillips, The Bulb Book: A Photographic Guide to over 800 Hardy Bulbs, Pan Books Ltd, 1981 - ISBN 0-33026-481-8

External links

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