Early crocus (Crocus tommasinianus)

Crocus tommasinianus is a bulbous and perennial plant

If you like lilac flowers, the plant called Crocus tommasinianus. Thanks to its color it is very striking. Besides, It is an easy-to-care-for and very decorative vegetable for the garden that pleases the eyes of anyone. If you want to know more about this beautiful flora, I recommend that you continue reading.

In this article we will explain what is it and what are the cares that Crocus tommasinianus requires. So do not hesitate to take a look if you are interested in this beautiful plant.

What is Crocus tommasinianus?

Crocus tommasinianus has lilac flowers

When we talk about Crocus tommasinianus, also known as early saffron or false saffron, we refer to a bulbous and perennial plant for ornamental use. It is part of the genre Crocus, which in turn is a member of the family Iridaceae. This beautiful plant with lilac flowers is native to Europe, specifically to the countries of Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland and Serbia. In addition, it is possible to run into this flat in southern Germany. It normally grows in forests and on shady slopes.

within the species Crocus tommasinianus there is a wide number of varieties that are used above all to beautify the garden. Some have pink flowers, others white, and others of various shades of purple, lilac, and violet. It should be noted that they have a saffron fragrance and usually bloom at the end of winter. Perhaps one of the best known varieties is the Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'. It stands out because it is a very vigorous plant, much more than the wild ones, and its flowers are usually larger with a rather dark lilac color. A beauty, without a doubt.

Early Crocus Description

We already know a little more about what it is Crocus tommasinianus and what is its distribution and habitat, but what is it like physically? Let's see: This plant has a rounded chrome, which in turn has fibrous tunics while the fibers run parallel. The leaves of this vegetable are linear and have a midrib. It usually has between two and four, which are fully developed when flowering begins.

Regarding the flowers, they usually have a shape similar to a star when they are open. Their color is usually lavender or lilac, but they have a white tube. Tepals are usually darker on the inner side than on the outer.

Care and cultivation of Crocus tommasinianus

Crocus tommasinianus is also known as early saffron or false saffron

If you are liking false saffron and are considering growing it, I have very good news: It is quite easy to care for. However, it should be noted that it does not usually survive prolonged periods of drought, just as it does not do well with excess water, since it is very susceptible to the appearance of fungi. The ideal is to plant these flowers in autumn, forming groups located in a place with semi shade. The optimal distance between each specimen is eight to ten centimeters. As for the depth, the ideal would be five centimeters.

When it comes to multiplying this vegetable, it also tends to be done in autumn by means of new corms that usually grow around the original one. Another way to reproduce it is through seeds. However, it should be noted that they can take three to four years to flower. Taking these aspects into account, let's see what they are the basic care of this plant:

  • Light: The false saffron tolerates a location in full sun very well, although it also likes semi-shade. Generally, it tends to flower earlier when it is found in places that are more well protected from the sun.
  • Ground: Crocus tommasinianus requires soil that has good drainage and is rich in nutrients and organic matter. As for the pH, ideally it should be between 6 and 7. Of course, humidity should be kept as low as possible. To achieve this, it is highly recommended to add some coconut fiber or compost to the soil. This also favors plant growth.
  • Temperature: The early saffron prefers temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius for its growth and development. However, for the flowers to form, the ideal is for the temperature to be around 22 degrees Celsius.
  • Irrigation: It is best to water this vegetable once a week when it is growing. It is very important that the soil does not dry out in autumn or spring. In winter it may need some water if it doesn't snow. In summer, even if it goes to rest, it may need a little watering, but not much. It is important to avoid excess water to prevent mold from developing.
  • Fertilizer: In the event that we want to get the stigma and the petals of Crocus tommasinianus are larger, adding fertilizer is a good option. This plant can be fertilized twice when it is in the growth period. Once it would be in the fall, and once in the early spring.

Plagues and diseases

Like most plants, also the early crocus It is susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Next we will comment on the most common ones that usually appear in the cultivation of these vegetables:

  • Leaf beetles: This type of insect feeds on the leaves of many plants. If not controlled in time, they can cause serious damage to crops.
  • Leaf rot: It is a bacterial infection that causes the leaves of the affected plant to rot.
  • Root rot: The roots can become rotten due to a pathogenic infection or due to excess water.
  • Wilting of the plant: It can occur due to certain normal processes related to the season of the year and that cause the loss of leaves. It can also be caused by acronecrosis.
  • Mold in the soil: It normally appears on the soil surface when the environment is very humid.

The best thing to avoid the appearance of fungus is Avoid excess water, promote good ventilation and keep the plant clean. By following these cultivation tips, you will surely get some beautiful flowers.

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