Common Name: Crocus
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Time to divide plants: April to May
This Eastern European species has a particular place in gardeners' affections. It is one of the first crocuses to bloom, sometimes as early as late January, and by 2-3 weeks later there will be whole patches of lilac-mauve flowers, gleaming in the spring sunshine and alive with foraging bees. They seed themselves freely, even in crevices and cracks in paths, and also multiply quickly below ground, but no-one considers them invasive because they are so charming and welcome. The colour is variable, and light or dark forms and also white flowers are likely on self-sown plants. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
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