Crocus tommasinianus

Crocus tommasinianus (340)

Common names:

  • Woodland crocus
  • early crocus
  • Tommasini's crocus
  • Tommies

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • C tommasinianus is amongst the first crocuses to bloom in early spring (January to March). Flower pale lilac to deep purple.

Description of plant:

It is a cormous perennial of the Crocus genus in the Iridaceae family with a lilac flower, and is one of the smaller of the cultivated species. It has slender flowers about 2-4 cm (1-2 in) long, with white perianth tubes, petals (6) pale silvery lilac to reddish purple, while the outer petals may be overlaid with silver and darker tips. A variant, C. tommasinianus f. albus, is white. Its cultivars are used as ornamental plants. Height: 3 in (76 mm)
It naturalises easily earning an official recognition as a weed. It is often planted in large drifts in gardens and parks.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Cold winter with snow, warm summer with regular rainfall, deciduous woodland, shady slopes; rocky places at high altitude.

Country of origin:

  • Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania and the former Yugoslavia

Highdown history:

It was named after the botanist Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), who was Mayor of the city of Trieste. It was planted at Highdown Gardens by Sir Frederick Stern.

Other interesting information:

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Crocus tommasinianus (744)

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