Spring Flowers

Growing Crocus Tommasinianus or ‘Tommies’

Purple Crocus

Crocus Tommasinianus or ‘tommies’ is a member of the Iridaceae family. It is a spring flower and it is widely found in Europe. Being an early blooming plant it is a bees favorite as it contains a lot of yellow – orange pollen.

Crocus Tommasinianus Origins

This plant is native to woodlands and hillsides from south of Hungary and northern parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Also, known as the snow crocus, it blooms in late February or early March making Hunagarian pastures beautiful.

The name comes from Ancient Greek and it is related to saffron, making it one of the oldest plant names.

There are no serious pests or diseases that affect this plant. It can be consumed by squirrels or mice, but only if the local population is very large.

Caring for ‘Tommies’ Blooms

Pale lavender, goblet shaped flowers bloom each spring. Sometimes the plant has reddish-purple tones which are natural. Being one of the first flowers to bloom, crocus has a cheerful effect in the garden being associated with youthfulness in many cultures. The plant has a height of about 4 inches and usually 4-5 basal, linear leaves.

The flower depends much on sunshine and it is quite common for the flowers to close during cloudy days. Also, the flowers are closed during the nights in order to protect the fragile pollen from potential frost.

Crocus Tommasinianus can adapt to garden use. If you wish you can find crocus tommasinianus bulbs on the market and plant them in shady areas. The ideal planting period is between September and November. Each bulb needs to be seeded at a depth of about 4 inches with its pointy end up. The plant prefers clusters so it is best to plant about 10-15 bulbs near each other. Also, when blooming, this will lead to a better visual effect.

Fertilizers are not usually needed. In spring, the plants can be protected with plastic covers in case bad weather returns. It is safe to mown the lawn only after the crocus leaves died out (this means the plant lifecycle ended and it is in a dormant state).

Crocus Bulb
Crocus Bulb

The plant prefers shady lawns or places near trees. It is important to avoid waterlogged areas as the plants will perish. For landscaping purposes, they can be planted in front of other spring shrubs like Deutzia or Forsythia or along pathways.

Once picked, the flowers will last for a few days in a vase. For flower arrangements, you can place the flowers in a water bowl and they will float on the surface. The purple color makes a great table centerpiece, bringing life and joy to a dinner. Crocus has no scent, so do not expect it to change the atmosphere in the room.

Crocus Tommasinianus Breeding

This flower is very prolific and I can become a pest in a garden. It is self-sowing and also it can multiply via corm division. There is no need to extract the bulbs from the ground in autumn (like for some tulips). The plant will resist in winter and it will bloom by itself the next spring.

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