The Crocus in Spring
The Crocus Signals Spring's Arrival
The first glimpse of a crocus each year never fails to delight me. I get a happy feeling and an eagerness for spring to arrive when I see the first crocus flowers in my yard. It is February, and in my little flower bed the small clump of crocuses have poked out of the soil and raised their new faces to the sun. To me, they are a sign of new birth and the coming of spring.
Crocuses seem to be a universal symbol of spring. I want to share my love for crocuses here, and give you a glimpse of how the crocus has been immortalized in poetry and art. You will also find tips on planting and growing this cheery flower in your own yard. They are great to grow in flower pots, too, indoors or out!
A Little About the Crocus
The crocus is a genus in the iris family. There are around eighty species of crocus, but you will only find about thirty species that are cultivated. You can find species that bloom in autumn, winter or spring.
Crocuses are grown from corms, which is a type of bulb. Crocuses have spiky, grass-like leaves, and single cup-shaped flowers. Lilac, mauve, yellow and white are the predominant colors. The flower typically has three stamens.
Did you know...
You can plant crocuses under many deciduous trees, because they will bloom long before the trees leaf out to shade the area.
How to Plant Crocus Corms (Bulbs)
- Choose crocus corms that don't have soft spots or bruises on them.
- Choose a sunny location in areas where the soil has good drainage, as this is what most crocuses prefer.
- Dig a small hole about 2 to 3 inches deep; put a little fertilizer into hole and mix into the dirt a bit.
- Plant corms with the pointed side up, and the root side down.
- Don't forget to water the bulbs when you are finished planting them!
Here are some videos with tips for planting crocus corms (bulbs)
Poetry by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)
Beneath the sunny autumn sky,
With gold leaves dropping round,
We sought, my little friend and I,
The consecrated ground,
Where, calm beneath the holy cross,
O'ershadowed by sweet skies,
Sleeps tranquilly that youthful form,
Those blue unclouded eyes.
Around the soft, green swelling mound
We scooped the earth away,
And buried deep the crocus-bulbs
Against a coming day.
"These roots are dry, and brown, and sere;
Why plant them here?" he said,
"To leave them, all the winter long,
So desolate and dead."
"Dear child, within each sere dead form
There sleeps a living flower,
And angel-like it shall arise
In spring's returning hour."
Ah, deeper down -- cold, dark, and chill --
We buried our heart's flower,
But angel-like shall he arise
In spring's immortal hour.
In blue and yellow from its grave
Springs up the crocus fair,
And God shall raise those bright blue eyes,
Those sunny waves of hair.
Not for a fading summer's morn,
Not for a fleeting hour,
But for an endless age of bliss,
Shall rise our heart's dear flower.
A fun fact...
Saffron is a spice that comes from the stigmas of crocus sativus, which is a fall blooming species.
Forcing Bulbs to Bloom Indoors
Crocus Popularity Poll
Do you have crocuses in your yard or home to signal spring's arrival?
The Crocus's Soliloquy
Poem by Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)
Down in my solitude under the snow,
Where nothing cheering can reach me;
Here, without light to see how to grow,
I'll trust to nature to teach me.
I will not despair, nor be idle, nor frown,
Lock'd in so gloomy a dwelling;
My leaves shall run up, and my roots shall run down,
While the bud in my bosom is swelling.
Soon as the frost will get out of my bed,
From this cold dungeon to free me,
I will peer up with my little bright head;
All will be joyful to see me.
Then from my heart will young petals diverge,
As rays of the sun from their focus;
I from the darkness of earth will emerge,
A happy and beautiful crocus.
Gaily array'd in my yellow and green,
When to their view I have risen,
Will they not wonder that one so serene
Came from so dismal a prison?
Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower
This little lesson may borrow -
Patient to-day, through its gloomiest hour,
We come out the brighter to-morrow.
Don't leave them lonely...
Plant crocuses in large groups to create the most impact!
Crocus Bloom in Front of ...
Crocuses or croci?
Ok...so I used the plural form "crocuses." Do you think that is correct or should it be croci? Maybe both are right...tell me what you think!