Crocus sativus

Crocus sativus

Saffron crocus

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Crocus sativus
  • Common name: Saffron crocus
  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Plant Type: Bulb
Flower colour:

Purple

Foliage colour:

Green

Crocuses are spring-flowering plants native to Eastern Europe. Blooming from late-winter to early spring, they provide a much-needed source of nectar and pollen for queen bumblebees emerging from hibernation. They are easy to grow and particularly suited to growing in pots, and also naturalising in grass, where they quickly develop large carpets of colour.

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The saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, flowers in autumn, producing rich lavender blooms with deep purple veins. As its name suggests it produces the cooking spice saffron, which is actually a bright red three-branched style growing from the centre of the flower. It’s easy to grow the saffron crocus and harvest your own saffron, but you need around 150 flowers to produce one gram.

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For best results plant Crocus sativus in late summer in gritty, well-drained soil in full sun. Plants are sterile and will not set seed, so propagate by division only.

How to grow Crocus sativus

  • Plant size

    5cm height

    5cm spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Front

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist / chalky / alkaline / acidic

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Divide
Divide

Do not Divide in January

Do not Divide in February

Do not Divide in March

Do not Divide in April

Do not Divide in May

Do not Divide in June

Do not Divide in July

Do not Divide in August

Do Divide in September

Do Divide in October

Do Divide in November

Do not Divide in December

Crocus sativus and wildlife

Crocus sativus is known for attracting bees. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Does not attract Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Does not attract Butterflies​/​Moths

Does not attract Other pollinators

Is Crocus sativus poisonous?

Crocus sativus can be toxic.

Toxic to:

Toxic to Cats

Toxic to Dogs

Toxic to Horses

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Crocus sativus

Iris danfordiae
Plants

Iris danfordiae

Reticulata iris