The Crocus chrysanthus (snow crocus) are fully open now, and making a wonderful display. These petite bulbs show their petals best in the sun, appearing translucent when the light shines through them. They are my current favourites, mostly because they were the first flowers to bloom this spring, and early is crucial when you’ve waited all winter for gardening to begin. I’ve also planted many of the smaller crocus in my grass for a spring lawn.
Here is a shot showing part of the different groupings in the crocus bed, with Crocus chrysanthus ‘Cream Beauty’ in the front. The Cream Beauty are a soft yellow colour, with a more delicate appearance. The trees around have not started to develop leaves yet, so the garden is relatively sunny for most of the day here, allowing the spring crocus to show their best.
The Crocus chrysanthus ‘Blue Pearl’ are mostly white, with light bluish lavender on the outermost petals. That blue colour shows up best when they are in the bud stage, when the petals are folded, or when surrounded by snow.
Crocus chrysanthus ‘Gipsy Girl’ is very flashy, with distinctive maroon stripes contrasting against the yellow on the outside of the buds. I’ve never been attracted to striped flowers before, but I have a fondness for these in the spring garden. I’m ready for bold blooms, after not seeing flowers for so long. They are the first flowers blooming in the early spring garden, and they dazzle with their ornate colour scheme.
These little bulbs are Crocus chrysanthus ‘Snow Bunting’, with pure white petals. When the sun is bright, these flowers practically glisten while reflecting the light. The dark golden anthers and stigma in the centre are very noticeable. ‘Snow Bunting’ is a very perky looking plant for having such simple petals.
The photo above is another yellow crocus with maroon stripes, called Crocus chrysanthus ‘Fuscotinctus’. The stripes are a little smaller than on Gipsy Girl, if you are looking for a more subtle colour combination. You can see in the centre of the picture that a bee has been lucky to find an early flower.
One of the best things about these crocus in a northern garden, is that they don’t mind the cold, or a late snowfall. After they started blooming, the temperatures went down to – 11º C (12º F) and the flowers were coated in fresh snow, but they just folded their petals, and opened again when the sun shone. This is a perfect strategy for such an early spring bulb. There is more information about these hardy Crocus chrysanthus in this previous post.
Now, more of the large Dutch crocus flowers are unfurling, and I’m sure when those showy blooms open fully, they will become my new favourites. :)
I liked so many of the snow crocus photos, that I decided to put them in a gallery. You can click on any of the gallery pictures to see a full size enlargement.