Identifying Crocuses

Get started identifying the naturalised crocuses you’re most likely encounter in a new, simplified crib.

Thank you all so much for continuing to read and download recent entries in this series of beginner’s plant cribs. They are evolving overtime and it is great to hear your feedback.

After tackling snowdrops, now seemed like a good time to produce another simplified crib on an equally appeal group of spring plants: our Crocuses.

Members of the Iris family, crocuses are extremely popular in cultivation owing to their early flowering and vibrant colours. This popularity means that they are a familiar sight in churchyards, parks and amenity areas across the UK. From time to time, several may also turn up in more natural settings as a result of garden discards or dumped horticultural waste.

Key factors to focus on when identifying crocuses include flower colour, colour of the petal tube, leaf width, and length of the reproductive parts. In some, you’ll also need to scrutinise the corm – often a challenging task!

Identifying Crocuses

Owing to a long history of hybridisation, our crocuses are a diverse bunch and can come in a daunting array of colours and forms. This makes identifying some, particularly garden cultivars, somewhat challenging. Still, data from botanists across the UK shows that certain species (and hybrids) are more likely to be encountered than others. This crib addresses the following species:

  • White Crocus (Crocus vernus)
  • Spring Crocus (Crocus neapolitanus)
  • Early Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus)
  • Sieber’s Crocus (Crocus sieberi)
  • Snow Crocus (Crocus x hybridus)
  • Yellow Crocus (Crocus x luteus)
  • Golden Crocus (Crocus chrysanthus)
  • Silvery Crocus (Crocus biflorus)

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