Crocus 2011

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

I especially like all the bicolor specimens, and the saffron crocus. 

A question for you, Mark: it is obviously doing very well.  In your cold climate, does the foliage just survive the winter as is, and continue through the spring?

Yes Rick, the foliage is totally winter evergreen and continues into spring with dense grass-like tufts of leaves.  It eventually goes dormant about the same time the spring crocus have finished flowering and going dormant.  Some photos of winter foliage.

In winter, the snow always melts first around the mulched tree and shrub rings where bulbs are planted. The foliage is that of Crocus sativus.

The same "shrub ring" in mid December when we were hit with the infamous ice storm of 2008, Hibiscus syriacus heavy under the weight of ice, eventually the root ball lifted out of the ground :o.  Not to worry, in spring I was able to upright the shrub and stabilize it with rocks, and the shrub never blinked an eye.  Isn't it amazing what ice can do to the foliage of Crocus sativus, doing a pretty good impression of a dagger-leafed Aciphylla ;)

And here in late March, the foliage still looks fine, the spring crocus are budded and ready to pop.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

That's very encouraging, Mark.  And I am impressed.  They (and the color) are very captivating.  I'll bet you sited them there specifically, so they would be clear of snow early, and have a long cold growing season.  Some of the best Snow trilliums (Trillium nivale) I've seen in the wild here grow on limestone jut outs on north east facing hills.  Snow melts there first, too.

In the last pic, are you showing/looking for seed pods?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

RickR wrote:

That's very encouraging, Mark.  And I am impressed.  I'll bet you sited them there specifically, so they would be clear of snow early, and have a long cold growing season.  Some of the best Snow trilliums (Trillium nivale) I've seen in the wild here grow on limestone jut outs on north east facing hills.  Snow melts there first, too.

In the last pic, are you showing/looking for seed pods?

I never get seed on any of the autumn blooming Crocus, and I was looking for seed, and I kept looking for seed into the spring months, but in all these years, never found a single pod on C. sativus.  At long last, this spring I did find some pods on C. asumaniae, a heavily perfumed autumn species that is in bloom now, a species that can be used for saffron.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

McDonough wrote:

................ never found a single pod on C. sativus...................

Crocus sativus is a sterile triploid hybrid.

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

deesen wrote:

Crocus sativus is a sterile triploid hybrid.

That explains why it is non-existent in the wild, according to the Crocus pages. 

So then, surely it must be virus infected, having been only asexually propagated these many, many centuries. Do any crocus collectors care about this?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

deesen
deesen's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

A few bits and pieces about Crocus sativus gleaned from Janis Ruksans excellent monograph "Crocuses: A Complete Guide to the Genus" Timber Press 2010.

"......... most of the stocks that I've seen clearly show symptons of virus infection"

"......... to get a good flowering it must be grown in areas with a really hot and long dry summer......." (Not Devon, UK then!!)

".........Most likely it is a selected form of Crocus cartwrightianus although in the wild there are no plants with such huge flowers and such long stigmas.........."

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b

Michael J Campbell
Michael J Campbell's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Crocus longiflorus

Michael J Campbell in Shannon, County Clare, Ireland

http://www.facebook.com/michael.j.campbell.395

Lewisias, alpines ,South African bulbs
http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/michaelJcampbell63

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

deesen wrote:

McDonough wrote:

................ never found a single pod on C. sativus...................

Crocus sativus is a sterile triploid hybrid.

David, I thought you might enjoy this... maybe these seeds are truly magic ;D
http://www.magicgardenseeds.com/CRO01

Within a few inches of my C. sativus clump, I have a couple bulbs of C. thomasii flowering at the same time.  This article is for purchase, thus I haven't acquired it, but the title speaks for itself, all is not black and white.  Maybe I should be looking for the chance of seed after all ;)
Fertilization of Crocus sativus L. ovules and development of seeds after stigmatic pollination with C. thomasii Ten. pollen
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/11263508909430244

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

deesen wrote:

A few bits and pieces about Crocus sativus gleaned from Janis Ruksans excellent monograph "Crocuses: A Complete Guide to the Genus" Timber Press 2010.

"......... to get a good flowering it must be grown in areas with a really hot and long dry summer......." (Not Devon, UK then!!)

".........Most likely it is a selected form of Crocus cartwrightianus although in the wild there are no plants with such huge flowers and such long stigmas.........."

Not a problem here, C. sativus always flowers prolifically.

Research paper excerpts that I've been looking at put both C. cartwrightianus and C. thomasii as the two species most likely as ancesters of C. sativus.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

WimB
WimB's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-01-31

Flowering here now:

Crocus longiflorus
and Crocus laevigatus

Wim Boens
Wingene Belgium zone 8a

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