are beautiful, cup-shaped flowers synonymous with spring. Colors vary from white to yellow to purples and multicolored blooms. Crocuses are some of the earliest bloomers in the garden, generally popping up even before the grass starts to grow. The crocus is also an old garden favorite, dating back to ancient Greece and Egypt.
Crocuses are like a bulb plant, although their root is not an actual bulb. The flat bulb-shaped portion of the plant is called a corm, which is similar to a bulb in the sense that it can be dug up and replanted. For spring crocus blooms, the time to plant corms is in the fall. Crocuses may also be grown from seed, but they can take three years to produce blooms.
When planting crocus corms, make sure the soil is sandy and drains well. The garden location should get about four hours of sunlight daily.Fertilize the soil with compost and bulb fertilizer and push the corms into the soil with a trowel. You can plant crocuses individually or in groups, but groups will need to be dug up and separated about every four years.
There are over 80 varieties of crocuses, but it is interesting to note that the crocus sativa variety produces saffron, often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes
. To get saffron from the flower, harvesters take the stigma of the crocus sativa and dry them. Unfortunately, this isn't a very practical undertaking for home crocus
growers, as it takes about a thousand stigmas to get one ounce of saffron. If you use saffron only occasionally, ten or so crocus sativa plants should be enough to flavor one dish.