Crocus vernus ‘Silver Coral’ (large Dutch crocus) are a bright white crocus with a strong contrasting purple base. I find they make a nice bridge between purple and gold crocus, flowering after the early snow crocus. They are hardy in zone 3 and return after cold winters. I have had some in my garden for awhile, but the ones in the photos were additional ones added last fall in between some perennials.
Here you can see the deep purple base on the goblet of the ‘Silver Coral’ flowers blending into the stem. I’m not sure of the origin of the “coral” part of their name, but you can see how they shine when the light bursts through them, which might be the “silver” part of their name. There are bright gold ‘Yellow Mammoth’ crocus behind them, and different purple crocus in the other direction. The white colour of ‘Silver Coral’ helps tie them all together.
The translucent petals give them a delicate appearance, but these are another crocus that do just fine in zone 3. Like the other Crocus vernus, they open after the earlier Crocus chrysanthus (snow crocus), while their bloom time overlaps with the later ‘Yellow Mammoth’, which are the last crocus to flower in my garden.
These white crocus blend wonderfully with the purple crocus, and their purple base brings a subtle coordination. The hint of purple at the bottom is similar to the colour at the base of the striped crocus behind them. ‘Silver Coral’ are about 10 cm tall (4 in), just a little shorter than the other Crocus vernus, and the flowers are a little smaller, even on the established ones. The ‘Silver Coral’ flowers are about 3 cm (around an inch) across.
‘Silver Coral’ is paired with the purple striped ‘Pickwick’ here. You can see a few of the ‘Yellow Mammoth’ crocus that are part of a much larger group extending to the left of the picture.
‘Silver Coral’ is winding through the other crocus in the photo above, joining the purple and gold crocus. There are lots more purple and gold crocus extending in each direction as well as behind. In early spring I’m always glad that I added more crocus the previous fall, as their exuberant beauty is so wonderful in the garden. The Crocus corms are easy to fit in between perennials, and add so much colour while the more timid perennials are barely putting up new shoots. ‘Silver Coral’ are a nice crocus if you are looking for a larger white one that has a little hint of extra colour.
There are more photos of Crocus vernus from previous years in this article.