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ID
  
 
Healthy Home Gardening
 
Crocus
Iridaceae
Crocus vernus


Thunder
Thunder
Flower Petal # 6
Main Color    
Color 2    
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Iridaceae Family

Crocus Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Dutch Crocus, Garden Crocus


Location

Native to Central and southern Europe (including the islands of the Aegean), North Africa and the Middle East, across Central Asia to western China

Physical Description
The flowers are delicate, cup-shaped blooms in shades of yellow, white, purple, and lavender. Many selections have bi-colored blooms. Crocus have grassy leaves that usually have a white stripe along the center.

The most commonly grown bloom in the spring, but there are some species that bloom in the fall.

Crocus grow two to six inches tall, with a spread of three to six inches. The leaves are grass-like. The flowers can be yellow, white, purple, or a mixture of these colors.

This type of plant grow from corms, which are short, compressed stems similar to bulbs. Corms are more flattened and have eyes, or buds, at the top from which shoots emerge. Each year a new corm forms on top of the old one, and tiny corms, called cormels, form around its base. Each corm produces from one to five blooms. When planted in proper conditions, most self-sow and produce plentiful offsets.




Compare Species
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Iridaceae
Asparagales
Asparagales
Monocots
Monocots
One First-Leaves (Monocots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

The first crocus seen in the Netherlands, where Crocus species are not native, were from corms brought back from Constantinople by the Holy Roman Emperor's ambassador to the Syblime Porte, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, in the 1560s. A few corms were forwarded to Carolus Clusius at the botanical garden in Leiden. By 1620, the approximate date of Ambrosius Bosschaert's painting new garden varieties had been developed, such as the cream-colored crocus feathered with bronze at the base of the bouquet, similar to varieties still in the market. Bosschaert, working from a preparatory drawing to paint his composed piece, which spans the whole of Spring, exaggerated the crocus so that it passes for a tulip, but its narrow, grasslike leaves give it away

Medicinal Uses: During the fifth century doctors in the Byzantine Empire had a high regard for the plant's effectiveness as a remedy for "conditions of the joints" (probably rheumatism and arthritis)

The autumn crocus's main active principle is the alkaline substance colchicine, which is used today as one of the principal medications in gout therapy, as it may have been 4,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians. Autumn crocus has been used to treat rheumatism, dropsy, and prostate enlargement. With colchicine, Egyptian and Israeli doctors have treated familial Mediterranean fever, which is fever accompanied by abdominal, joint, and chest pain

Autumn crocus is considered one of the best remedies for acute gout pain. Leukemia has been successfully treated with autumn crocus, and the plant has also been used with some success to treat Behcet's syndrome, a chronic disease marked by recurring ulcers and leukemia. Taken internally, autumn crocus has significant side effects even at low dosage. Externally, it is applied to relieve neuralgia and itchiness.

Other Notes: According to legends, the crocus indicates either the place where the gods Jove and Juno lay together or the place where the enchantress Medea spilled an elixir of life

The crocus's corm, an underground bulblike organ, has been used historically as a potent poison, ground into a powder, and was often administered in wine.

According to the Greek naturalist Theophrastus, slaves ate small pieces of the corm when they were angry with their masters to make themselves ill and unable to work.





Crocus




Crocus
Field of yellow and purple crocuses

Comment: Crocus, Crocus vernus

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