It’s back! Friday, Apr 3 2015 

I think something ate a fair number, but there are definitely some. And it is early yet. Further observations from last year show that they do send up multiple flowers and are fragrant. They also appear to be able to multiply (a skunk dug up a corm and I noticed that it had several small corms (cormlets??) splitting off.

Crocus angustifolius Monday, Apr 14 2014 

Alright, I’ll admit it. I have officially crossed the line and become a plant nerd.  I have a certain fascination with crocus at the moment.  A definite favorite right now is C. angustifolius (also known as C. susianus), commonly referred to as ‘Cloth of Gold’.  Native to Crimea and the northern Black Sea coast, it favors grasslands that are dry in the summer.  I figured I’d give it a shot in the tall grass of the northwest lawn under the white birches.  It certainly didn’t object to the winter, since either I can’t count or each corm was willing to send up multiple flowers.  It is supposedly fragrant, but I haven’t stuck my nose into a flower to find out.  A bright yellow crocus with a distinct star shape from above, more like some of the species tulips, rather than the classic cup of a Dutch crocus.  It may be more sensitive to sunlight than others (all crocus close at night or on cloudy days) since in my brief observation of a few days it is only completely open on bright mornings (the photos below were taken in a clear, late afternoon and the flowers had already noticeably closed).  It is a brilliant yellow with the outside feathered in what can only be described as royal purple.  Whether it is the name, the color, the shape, or its original location….I am always reminded of classical myths surrounding the Black Sea, primarily of course Jason and the Argonauts, but also other suggestions of a harsh land of great wealth and beauty.


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