Monday, March 7, 2016

Crocus tommasinianus, the amethyst and pewter crocus

Crocus tommasinianus "amethyst and pewter' 
The crocuses in the image above are Crocus tommasinianus in one of its many forms. This crocus is sometimes seen naturalized in lawns here in the greater Washington, D.C. area. If I could have only one crocus for this season, this would be the one. 
In particular, I would want what I'm calling here the amethyst and pewter form, the ones with a marked contrast between the pewter colored outers and the vivid amethyst inners. I would not know where to send you to buy these: the named forms of Crocus tommasinianus such as 'Baur's Purple', 'Ruby Giant', 'Whitewell Purple' and so on don't show this pattern to advantage if at all.  And if you order something called Crocus tommasinianus you won't know until they bloom if they are the more delicate wild forms or simply a mixture of these named, cultivated forms. 
The ones naturalized in the garden here show this amethyst and pewter combination to varying degrees. My favorites are the ones shown above where the contrast between the pewter and the amethyst is strong. 

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