Common Name: Spring crocus
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: White with small purple base
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants perform best in gritty, well-drained soils. Avoid heavy clay soils or moist soil conditions. Plant corms about 2-3” deep and 3-4” apart in the fall. If corms are planted in the lawn, foliage should be left unmowed until the foliage yellows (about 6 weeks after bloom). Divide corms every 4-5 years. Plants naturalize well over time in open sunny grassy areas, beds and borders. Watering should be reduced as plants go dormant in late spring, with dryish soils generally considered best during dormancy.
Crocus vernus is an early spring blooming bulb (actually a corm) that is primarily native to high alpine areas in Europe (Pyrenees, Alps and Carpathians). Many popular hybrids of this crocus have been developed over the years. Species plants and hybrids are commonly called Dutch crocus, large flowering crocus, giant crocus or spring crocus. ‘Jeanne d'Arc’ is a popular white-flowered cultivar that typically grows to 4-6” tall. Each corm produces several upright, cup-like flowers which bloom in early spring for about three weeks (typically beginning in mid to late March in the St. Louis area). Each flower has six, upright, pure white petals, a small interior purple base and a striking bright orange pistil. Flowers close at night and open up in the morning, but usually remain closed on rainy/cloudy days. Basal, narrow, grass-like leaves. Each leaf often sports a narrow white line which runs the full length of the leaf. Leaves continue to grow after bloom, sometimes to 12" long. Foliage yellows as plants go dormant in late spring.
No serious insect or disease problems. Squirrels, mice and other rodents can be problems. Squirrels seem particularly adept at locating, digging up and eating newly planted corms.
Brings early spring bloom to the landscape. Mass in lawns, under trees or in sunny woodland areas. Large sweeping drifts can be spectacular. Also may be grouped in beds, borders, rock gardens, in front of shrubs, along walks, in naturalized areas or in various other small spaces around the home.