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This Eastern European species has a particular place in gardeners' affections. It is one of the first crocuses to bloom, sometimes as early as late January, and by 2-3 weeks later there will be whole patches of lilac-mauve flowers, gleaming in the spring sunshine and alive with foraging bees. They seed themselves freely, even in crevices and cracks in paths, and also multiply quickly below ground, but no-one considers them invasive because they are so charming and welcome. The colour is variable, and light or dark forms and also white flowers are likely on self-sown plants. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Spring-blooming bulb
Flower colour: Mauve
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: April to May
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