The Q&A Archives: Saffron Crocus

Question: I planted the bulbs for my Saffron Crocuses this fall in late Sept. when they arrived in the mail, and a week later it snowed, the snow has since melted and the Crocuses have sprouted and now have leaves above ground. Will I have to treat them a special way this winter to insure their survival? And in a previous question you said that Saffron is a spring flowering Crocus, but all the catolouges have it listed as a fall flowering Crocus, which is it?

Answer: The use of common names can sometimes confuse the issue. There is a plant called spring meadow saffron (Bulbocodium vernum) that blooms in late winter/early spring as one of the earliest bloomers of the year. It has pinkish-lavender flowers. Then there are autumn blooming crocuses, which are true crocus. Crocus sativus is the saffron crocus thats bright orange stigmas are used for cooking. It is a fall bloomer. It is normal for them to grow and bloom now. They are dormant in the summer, and don't like to be overly wet at that time. Good luck with your saffron!

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