Alberta asks, “ A friend told me there was a crocus that bloomed in the fall. I thought crocus was an early spring flower.”
Alberta there is a flower grown from bulbs that resemble crocus, that blooms in the fall. While often called Autumn Crocus, they belong to the Colchicum family. The bulbs are usually planted in early August. They first send up leaves in the spring, which die back and then sends up a flower stalk. They are hardy in zones 4-9 and bloom in mid to late October.
There are many hybrids and cultivars available. Some of the most popular varieties are the ‘Giant’ which are large flowers 10 to 12 inches tall. A favorite of mine is the very showy ‘Waterlily’ with pink flowers with multiple petals.
Autumn crocus are very easy to grow and will multiply over time. They are not bothered by rabbits or deer because they are poisonous. They are toxic to people cats and dogs if ingested. But in spite of their toxicity they are very popular and grown for late season color.
Ask the Gardener
If you have any gardening questions you would like to ask Rick or topics you would love to see him cover please feel free to drop him a note and ASK THE GARDENER here.
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