Blooming well before the fat Dutch Crocus (Crocus vernus), Crocus chrysanthus (Snow Crocus) pokes through the bare earth or snow to cheer gardeners and capture their heart. This crocus produces smaller flowers than those of the familiar 'Dutch crocuses' but in greater numbers. This species is also noteworthy for its unusual color blends, not found in the larger hybrids. Many cultivars have bicolored petals and a striking yellow center. They make the most dramatic appearance when planted in clumps of one color and bloom so profusely and brilliantly that even small clusters can be seen from a distance.
Vigorous, Crocus sieberi is a late winter-flowering crocus producing its charming flowers as the snow melts. Regarded by some as one of the most attractive crocuses, it is very hardy and ridiculously easy to grow, making long-lived clumps. Easily established, this crocus increases nicely over time, providing attractive splashes of color, like scattered gemstones sparkling on the ground!
Among the earliest to flower, this species has elegant blossoms of pale lavender to red-purple with a silvery reverse. The profuse flowering and spontaneous self-propagation makes this crocus a very good choice for naturalizing. Blooming from late winter to early spring, the calyx-shaped flowers open when the sun shines or when there is a lot of light; they close up in rainy weather and at night.
One of the most popular species, Crocus vernus is an early spring blooming bulb that is widely grown in gardens or used for winter forcing. Its flowers are larger than any other of the crocuses, hence its common names of large flowering crocus or giant crocus. They range from yellow, white and purple to striped or bronze and bloom for about three weeks. The calyx-shaped flowers open only when the sun shines or when there is a lot of light; they close up in rainy weather and at night.