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Crocus cartwrightianus AGM

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Bulb

Habit

Tufted

Fragrance

Flower

Resilience

Hardiness

H4 (hardy - average winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Purple in Winter

Foliage

Green in Winter

Size

Ultimate height

Up to 10 cm

Ultimate spread

0-0.1 metre

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

wild saffron

Family

Iridaceae


Crocus are dwarf, deciduous perennials growing from a corm, with linear leaves usually with a silvery central stripe, and goblet-shaped, sometimes fragrant flowers in autumn or early spring

C. cartwrightianus is a perennial corm with numerous narrow leaves developing with the flowers in autumn or early winter. Flowers lilac-purple, heavily veined deep purple, with long, deep red stigmas

Synonym(s)

  • Crocus sativus var. cartwrightianus

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in a bulb frame or alpine house in a mix of equal parts loam, leaf mould and sharp sand or grit. Water freely in the growing season and apply a low-nitrogen fertiliser monthly. Keep completely dry in summer dormancy

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame when ripe or remove cormlets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Banks and Slopes, City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Garden Edging, Gravel Garden, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean Climate Plants, Patio/Container Plants or Rock Garden


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Corms are vulnerable to mice, voles and squirrels

Diseases

Corms in storage may be subject to rots and moulds