Large Dutch Crocus

carpet of Crocus vernus in purple and white
carpet of Crocus vernus in purple and white

Crocus vernus (large Dutch crocus) make a great display when planted in a large group. These crocus have come back with more blooms and larger than last year. The abundance of colourful petals makes me smile every time I observe them out the window, or stroll to this side of the garden.

 

Crocus vernus 'Remembrance' with pollinator
Crocus vernus 'Remembrance' with pollinator

Gardeners aren’t the only ones who appreciate crocus. Many pollinators have been buzzing around these flowers, including lots of bees and bumble bees. This one carries lots of pollen on its fuzzy back.

Crocus vernus 'Remembrance' closed and open purple flowers
Crocus vernus 'Remembrance' closed and open purple flowers

Crocus vernus ‘Remembrance’ is  a solid, saturated purple, with a bright orange contrast of pistil and anthers in the centre. I’ve put a shot of the closed buds at the top of the photo, and the open flowers underneath. This area is shaded early in the day, so the petals unfurl by late morning. Even the closed petals are quite pretty, but the open petals really fill the space. This colour looks great next to the striped purple crocus.

Crocus vernus 'Pickwick' flowers closed and opened
Crocus vernus 'Pickwick' flowers closed and opened

Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ is a light purple, with darker purple stripes. Like ‘Remembrance’, they have large showy flower cups. When the sun is lower, and the petals are folded upright, they look a little more blue, like the top part of the photo.These are great looking crocus, and coordinate beautifully with the solid white and purple crocus. Adjacent to golden crocus they really pop.

Crocus vernus 'Striped Beauty' open and closed flowers
Crocus vernus 'Striped Beauty' open and closed flowers

Crocus vernus ‘Striped Beauty’ is very similar to ‘Pickwick’, with purple stripes. In the garden they are pretty much interchangeable. My ‘Striped Beauty might be a little lighter in colour. As you can see at the top of  the picture above, the closed blooms appear a bit more blue than purple.

Crocus vernus 'Silver Coral' open and closed flowers
Crocus vernus 'Silver Coral' open and closed flowers

Crocus vernus ‘Silver Coral’ have white petals, with a dark purple base. When they are folded up, the purple is more noticeable, and coordinates well next to the purple ‘Remembrance’. These look terrific combined with the solid purple and striped purple crocus.

Crocus 'Yellow Mammoth' in sun
Crocus 'Yellow Mammoth' in sun

Crocus ‘Yellow Mammoth’ is the sunniest, brightest gold colour. These are extra cheerful, and look super combined with purple crocus.’Yellow Mammoth’ opens a little after the the Crocus vernus start, but have a good overlap in bloom time. They will be the last crocus flowering.

crocus flowers under branches in spring
crocus flowers under branches in spring

The crocus are planted under a lilac. They are spaced in between perennials, which will take over the flower show in another month. Despite being planted in pockets, they make a full arrangement of blooms, looking like a series of bouquets. You can barely see the narrow green leaves, with central white stripe, because of all the flowers. The ‘Yellow Mammoth’ were just coming out in the picture above, but now they too are large bouquets.

Crocus vernus in purple and gold with Crocus chrysanthus at back
Crocus vernus in purple and gold with Crocus chrysanthus at back

This photo shows some Dutch crocus at the front, packed with flowers, with the Crocus chrysanthus (snow crocus) behind. Because of the way the deep  snow melted this year, the snow crocus blooms were a little delayed, so the both the early snow crocus and later Dutch crocus bloomed around the same time, making for a good bulb display.

Crocus vernus large dutch crocus mixed flowers
Crocus vernus large dutch crocus mixed flowers

The crocus colours coordinate so beautifully together to make a lively spring show. What a glorious start to the flower parade. Many of my other plants have more subtle flowers, or beautiful leaf patterns, but the crocus start the season with a cymbal crash, saying winter is over.

You can see more Crocus vernus pictures from last spring. In the garden section I’ve shown here, there are around 200 of the Dutch crocus and 200 of the snow crocus. While across a narrow path, there is another group of 200 crocus bulbs that I planted last fall. They may only bloom for three weeks or so, but the vivid display in early spring is well worth all of the fall bulb digging.

I’ve made a gallery to show a number of Crocus vernus pictures from this spring. You can click on any of the small photos and they will enlarge to full size.

19 thoughts on “Large Dutch Crocus”

  1. Fantastic pictures Northern, all crocuses are beautiful but the large ones are extra nice to look at. Silver Coral is stunning when closed, I will try and find some this fall. I have not seen any bees yet this year, but I’m sure they are around. Probaby waiting for my bleeding hearts to flower.

    1. Rebecca, I’m leaning towards favouring the large Dutch crocus this year. Although the smaller snow crocus got bonus points for being the first to flower. The bees were zooming by me as I took the shots. They have lots of bulbs to collect from in my garden, but my perennials are still just rising.

      The Garden Ms. S, the closed flowers have their own unique look, and are still very colourful. In fact, some of their special markings show up best when they are closed.

  2. Spectacular display (and photographs)! The bumblebees seem to like the large Dutch crocus more than the smaller varieties (Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ led the way here,followed by the small, pale nameless varieties and then Crocus tricolor). Alternatively, the smaller varieties may have been past their best by the time the bees began foraging actively (the first few days of flying they seemed mostly looking for a nesting site). Now the bees are spending most of their time at the Siberian and Striped Squill (and the Coltsfoot) and my late blooming (W fence, so only morning sun) Dutch crocus only get the occasional visit.

    1. Dave, my Crocus chrysanthus got some visitors, but the C. vernus seem to have more. The squills haven’t started to flower yet, but they mostly got relaged to the shadier spots, since they are better sports about it.

      The only perennials that have started flowering are the Hepatica nobilis, but they just have a few flowers so far, and the Helleborus. Everything is taking its time this spring.

  3. Hi, my Northern friend! I was excited to see you’d posted – and what a beautiful post it is!! You have truly inspired me to think of planting a lot more crocus this fall!!!

    1. Shady Gardener, I’ve already planned where I’m going to plant more crocus bulbs next fall. They are so joyful and satisfying. Plus the bumblebees asked nicely.

    1. Irena, thanks, the crocus are starting to fade now, but the Yellow Mammoth are still going strong. Luckily the other bulbs are starting to bloom now, too.

  4. I love your crocus. I was so inspired by photos last year that I planted some, and not a single one bloomed … i was terribly disappointed. :/ I followed the instructions on the bag, not sure what I could have done so wrong :/

    1. Adetia, that would be disappointing to get no blooms at all. Did the foliage come up, or was there nothing? If the corms were very small, and there is only leaves, it could be that they weren’t ready to flower yet, and might get flowers in another year. The larger the corms, the more and larger the blooms.

      If there is no evidence of any growth, it might be that the bulbs were old. Did they appear plump and unmarked when you planted them, with no signs of disease? Was there any evidence of disturbance after you planted them; that something might have dug them up? Bulbs like good drainage, and sitting in standing water could rot them. That said, I plant mine in an average site, and don’t have problems with it. The earlier in the fall that you plant them, the better chance they have of settling in before the winter. However, I’ve planted some fairly late, and had good success.

      It’s a shame that you didn’t get any flowers from them. I would try again next fall. Look for the bulbs early in the fall, from a plant store, or order them from a reliable mail order site. Good luck with them, as they really are a pick me up after the bareness of winter.

  5. This time it’s me to say a loud “WOW” when seeing all your beautiful, beautiful, beautiful crocus! What a large amount you have ( there once was a lot of work to plant all the bulbs!)! It’s so good your work of last fall (and other falls) has been rewarded and you can now enjoy this rich blossom. I like the yellow ones too, but definitely prefer the blue ones. Your amazing collage gives me the impression of seeing little clouds in the gardenbeds, indeed a little piece of the blue sky!
    Enjoy Spring time!
    Barbara

    1. Barbara, I really appreciated that the crocus are producing even better sets of flowers than last year. They looked like little bouquets planted in the ground. The blue and purple are also my favourites, but a bit of yellow contrast seems to help the purple show up even more.

    1. Anke, it is a good thing that other bulbs are starting to bloom now, or I would really be missing these crocus as they start to fade. Their large flowers on short stems are really eye-catching, since they form such a colourful carpet.

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