Crocus x luteusThe classic big yellow crocus, perhaps the most popular crocus variety for well over 300 years. Sold under many names: the original Dutch Grote Geele, and Mammoth Yellow, Giant Yellow, Golden Yellow.
Vigorous, 2-5 large flowers per corm. Sterile flower; spreads by bulb offsets. Blooms slightly before the Jumbos, C. vernus, but is often grouped with them. An early breeding coup, created from Crocus flavus and C. angustifolius.
4–6" tall. Very Early to Early Spring blooms, Z3-8, 8-9cm.
While “jumbo” relative only to other crocuses, they are larger, slightly later than the smaller kinds, and are the most commonly grown. Good for bedding, naturalizing and forcing.
Flowers do equally well in sun or partial shade. Divide every 3–4 years if needed to prevent overcrowding.
A classic for early spring color that also provides early food for bees. One of the most popular genera, they are welcome precursors of spring—colorful, long-lived, and easy to grow. Their waxy coat allows them to bloom even through a late snow. Flowers open wide in bright sun and close up at night and on grey days.
Once established, crocus can spread by “cormlets” and seed in well-drained areas. Foliage of low-growing varieties fades before the grass needs mowing.
In his award-winning book The Holistic Orchard, Michael Phillips recommended planting crocus in the orchard to help attract and retain native orchard mason bees. Crocus provide a pollen source before the fruit trees bloom.