Crocus flowers belong to the iris family and have 80 different species that can be found all across the globe. These seasonal flowers can tolerate extreme temperatures of heat and cold. They’re small plants that can only grow 8 to 12 inches tall.
They produce saffron, the world’s most expensive and popular spice. However, harvesting crocus flowers can be demanding since one kilogram entails 85,000 flowers that need to be gathered by hand specifically between dawn and 10 in the morning.
First off, crocuses can be divided into when they bloom. For example:
Crocuses that bloom in the Spring:
Dutch crocus – C. vernus
If you’re looking for a flower that is very tough, this is the one to choose. It is available anywhere and in various colors. It usually includes contrasting blotches or streaks in a second color.
Early crocus – C. tommasinianus
These are described below and are known as Tommies.
Golden crocus – C. chrysanthus
These crocuses contain beautiful orange-yellow petals and have a very sweet, pleasant aroma. There are also many hybrids of this flower so they can include blue petals with yellow centers, pure white petals, pale blue petals, pale yellow petals, or white petals with purple edges.
Scottish crocus – C. bifloris
Although some forms of this crocus bloom in the fall, and reading the instructions carefully is therefore essential, these are usually early bloomers and are white with purple stripes and yellow centers. They are very eye-catching and stunning.
Crocuses that bloom in the Fall:
Bieberstein’s crocus – C. speciosus
Undoubtedly the flashiest fall crocus, the Bieberstein has striking bluish-violet petals and is absolutely striking. There are also other colors available, such as purple and mauve, in part because the species increases very quickly. All of its colors are stunning and eye-catching.
Its pale lilac petals are highlighted with veins that are deep purple and yellow throats. The contrasting colors really bring out the flower’s beauty and make it a very noticeable variety indeed.
Cloth of Gold crocus – C. augustifolius
These bloom in early winter and have star-shaped, yellow-orange petals with a deep-brown stripe running through each of them. They are beautiful and eye-catching.
Saffron crocus – C. sativus
These are beautifully purple in color and they are described in more detail below.
Next, below are some of the most popular varieties of crocuses.
These flowers have yellow and lavender petals and both orange and yellow centers. They are one of the earliest bloomers among the crocus varieties and they are usually dormant by late spring, making them the perfect flower for your lawn. They do best in areas that are very sunny because their petals close up when it’s shady or cloudy, hiding their beauty.
Ard Schenk Crocus
Because their bright-white petals are tinged with yellow and highlighted by bright-orange centers, they can even remain noticeable with a blanket of snow on the ground. They are stunning and can stand out even among other types of crocuses surrounding them.
This crocus is very large in size and its colors are extraordinary. The petals are usually lavender and white with wide yellow centers and the flowers bloom in the fall.
Barr’s Purple Crocus
An early bloomer, this type of crocus has petals that are violet-amethyst and an interior that is a little paler, exposing you to various beautiful shades of the color purple. Their centers are golden orange in color and with these flowers, it is best to defer mowing the lawn until the foliage has died back.
This type of crocus comes true from seed and is quite striking, thanks to its deep-purple petals and golden centers. It is a late-blooming plant that can sometimes have tinges of white in it.
Blue Pearl Crocus
This type of crocus has pale lavender-blue and white petals tinged with yellow and yellow-orange centers. Containing graceful four-inch petals, this type of crocus is deer-resistant and open and closes depending on the sun.
Most experts consider this a hybrid and its sparse petals are very white and include a wide, golden-yellow center. They are very sturdy and bloom in April and May, growing up to four inches tall.
Cream Beauty Crocus
As the name suggests, these crocuses have large, beautiful petals in creamy-white and light-yellow color and beautiful orange centers that highlight their beauty. This type of crocus is the winner of several international flower awards and it is a very reliable performer in your garden.
Resistant to squirrels, this type of crocus has been around since the mid-1800s and consists of elegant-looking pale lavender petals. Known by flower lovers as “Tommies,” this type of crocus takes on a beautiful silvery color when the sun shines on them, making them truly eye-catching.
This crocus has a black basal tip, bright orange-yellow petals, and golden centers. It has been around since 1940 and its sparse petals open up whenever the sun is shining.
The thing that makes this variety unique and different is the fact that the petals are bi-colored in both light lavender and pale yellow with a yellow center to highlight it even more. Originating in the Mediterranean area, the Firefly crocus grows well in rock gardens but not in clay soil. As long as the soil is right, these flowers are easy to grow and striking, making them extremely eye-catching.
Like the name suggests, this crocus’s petals are bright yellow-orange and have centers of the same color, although it can also consist of purplish-brown feathering. It is smooth and deer-resistant, although you may have to work to keep it away from squirrels.
Grand Maitre Crocus
This extra-large crocus blooms a bit later than some other types of crocus and its vibrant purple petals with white highlights make it one of the most noticeable. If you stagger your planting times with these crocuses, it can extend your blooming times. When the sun comes out, the petals get wider, showing off their bright-orange centers. After roughly six weeks of blooming, you can leave the foliage until it withers, which makes the flowers multiply and come alive.
With sparse gold and yellow petals, these crocuses are very attractive but often have an unpleasant smell so they are not loved by everyone. The petals open up when it’s sunny and if you plant them on the back of your property, their smell should be a lot more tolerable.
Gypsy Girl Crocus
With a bright gold color and dark brown stripes, it can complement the Skyline and Pickwick crocuses in an instant. The first bees of the spring season will seek out these flowers and their red and yellow centers top off the crocuses’ look to make them truly stunning.
Jeanne D’Arc Crocus
With a crisp, eye-catching, bright-white color and striking yellow centers, this type of crocus looks best when they are naturalized in the lawn. Moreover, the crocuses do better when the soil is fairly dry, which means that you should place them in lawns that don’t get a lot of summer rain.
Lilac Beauty Crocus
With soft-lilac petals, a pink-violet interior, and orange centers, this is one crocus that definitely stands out among the others. Beautiful in rock gardens and garden borders, the Lilac Beauty has grass-like foliage and according to recent findings, they are not attractive to squirrels and their love of digging.
Miss Vain Crocus
These are early bloomers and have a light scent. They have large white petals and orange centers. You should plant roughly nine blooms per square foot if you want to get a dense, full look. Their foliage is grass-colored with silvery stripes and the petals open and close depending on how sunny it is.
The Olivieri is bright orange-yellow in color and can include dark orange markings on the outside and lighter orange tinges on the inside. The center is yellow-orange in color so the plant exemplifies consistency and a very attractive look.
Orange Monarch Crocus
Colored similarly to the monarch butterfly in golden orange and garnet-merlot striations throughout, this type of crocus is one of the earliest varieties to bloom. For a dense planting, it is recommended that you plant nine blooms per square foot. The flower opens and closes according to the sun and is also deer-resistant.
From the 1920s era, these crocuses look just the same as seersucker cloth and have white strips that highlight colors such as deep purple. They are some of the first and largest crocuses to bloom, usually appearing in early April, and they have bright yellow centers.
Prins Claus Crocus
The Prins Claus crocus has a sweet, spicy scent and petals that are goblet-shaped and white with deep-purple markings on the inside. The same as other crocuses, these flowers look better when dozens of blooms are planted together so that a full, dense look is achieved.
These crocuses have large, elegant petals that are butter-yellow or slightly orange in color and they are considered a petite variety because the blooms do not get larger than three inches in height. Because of this, they look best if you plant at least 25 of them together for a much fuller look. You can plant them by digging a hole about three inches deep and placing several bulbs in the hole. Then make sure that there are three inches between each group.
The Roseus crocus is violet in color and contains a white heart-shaped spot in the middle of the plant. It has an orange center and seems to be unattractive to squirrels looking for food. The Roseus does well in full to partial sun and it is recommended that you plant nine bulbs per square foot if you are aiming for a full, dense look.
Ruby Giant Crocus
With petals of deep purple and a paler base and margins, these flowers have orange-gold centers and are early bloomers. The Ruby Giant has grass-like foliage and is resistant to deer. It is also perfect for borders and rock gardens.
Also known as the Crocus sativus, this type of crocus blooms in the fall. It is extremely easy to grow and has beautiful purple petals with yellow-gold centers. If you’re in zones 6-8, you can plant the bulbs in the summer and see the blooms in the next two months. Planting about 25 bulbs at a time should result in enough saffron threads for your household, making this a flower with many purposes.
This type of crocus is similar to the Pickwick except that its striated petals are blue rather than purple. The Skyline is on the rare side so if you’re interested in planting them in your garden, you may have to buy the bulbs online at various garden swaps and specialty nurseries.
Snow Crocus – Species Mixture
As the name suggests, these flowers bloom in several colors at a time, including white, blue, purple, and yellow. They are early bloomers and have graceful, four-inch-tall petals that open and close according to how sunny it is. They can be targeted by squirrels but they can also be brought inside after they’re finished blooming for another four or so weeks of enjoyment.
Spring Beauty Crocus
With pale lilac petals that are flamed with dark purple and sometimes white, its pale-yellow centers make it a striking flower indeed. Perfect for rock gardens and garden borders, the Spring Beauty naturalizes well in full to partial sunlight and well-drained soil. If you like various shades of purple, this is the flower for you.
These flowers are absolutely striking with purple, white, and bright-gold petals and yellow-orange centers. They prefer full to partial sunlight and they are one of the earliest crocuses to bloom. Their four-inch-tall petals are eye-catching and graceful.
Whitewell Purple Crocus
Mixed colors that include shades of purple, violet, and white surround a golden-yellow center and spiky green foliage. They are striking flowers that are perfect for lovers of the color purple.
A little unique compared to other crocuses, its sparse petals are white and its centers are wide and bright yellow. They are similar to the varieties C. biflorus and the Tauri and the leaves are quite prominent as well.
The term “zenith” often means a particular point in the sky above the person doing the observing. The word might also refer to the ethereal blue color of this crocus or even the fact that it does best in alpine climates but one thing is certain; its pale blue color and striking yellow center make it very noticeable indeed. The Zenith is a fairly recent crocus but is a great addition to any spring garden.
Zwanenburg Bronze Crocus
With beautiful reddish-yellow petals and a gold-yellow center, this unique type of crocus blooms early and is a bit more fragrant than other types of crocus. Because of this characteristic, they are the perfect plant to place in containers or in raised beds because this brings the scent closer to you.
For more flower-related content, check out our types of flowers gallery.