Crocus L.


Greek krokos – saffron, as C. sativus is the source of this spice.

Small perennial herbs with corms. Leaves all basal, narrow-linear, with a broad white midline stripe. Flowers radially symmetrical, sessile with the ovary below ground. Spathe may be absent, or form a whitish sheath around the bud. Stamens inserted in tube, free. Style deeply divided into 3 or numerous thread-like branches.

85 species in Mediterranean, C Europe and SW Asia.

Flowers with long tubes emerging directly from soil; leaves (if present) linear, whitestriped.

Most species by seed; cultivars and C. sativus by offsets only.

Lawrence (1954a, b), Mathew (1982, 2002), Jacobsen (1997).

Source: Cooke, D. (2005). Iridaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Iridaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Crocus ancyrensis (Herb.) Maw.
species         Crocus biflorus Miller
species         Crocus chrysanthus (Herb.) Herb.
species         Crocus goulimyi Turrill
species         Crocus kotschyanus C.Koch
species         Crocus niveus Bowles
species         Crocus pulchellus Herb.
species         Crocus sativus L.
species         Crocus serotinus Salisb.
species         Crocus speciosus M.Bieb.
species         Crocus tommasinianus Herb.
species         Crocus vernus (L.) Hill