Crocus Facts

Overview

Crocuses comprise about 80 species of perennial flowering plants that are part of the iris family. These beautiful flowers are often seen poking out of snows as some of the very first bloomers in a garden.

Nativity

Crocus flowers are native to Europe, Central Asia, China, North Africa, and the Middle East. They are part of a large region that includes coastal and subalpine areas. Cultivation of crocus was first recorded in the island of Crete; however, the first crocus was found in the Netherlands.

Habitat

These hardy perennials are found in scrub locales, meadows and woodlands.

Description

These flowers are cup-shaped with flowers that taper into a tube and have three stamen. They have a wide range of colors; however, white, mauve and yellow are some most known. They have grass-like leaves.

Cooking

Saffron, an expensive spice used in cooking, comes from the stigmas of the Crocus sativus, which is a fall-flowering species of the plant.

Name

The name is from the Greek krokos from Homer's famous work "The Iliad." It means "saffron yellow."

References

  • Absolute Astronomy
Keywords: crocus, flowering plants, perennial

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.