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Crocus biflorus

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Botanical Description

Crocus biflorus is a complex of fourteen subspecies. The differences between some of these are of botanical rather than horticultural interest and in some cases difficult to determine. The following account emphasizes the horticulturally significant distinctions in an attempt to simplify what is, for gardeners, a most confusing group of crocuses.

C.b. subsp. biflorus. Corm tunic coriaceous with basal rings. Leaves three to five, dark green and up to 2mm wide. Flowers 5-8cm high, white or pale lilac with prominent purple stripes on the outside of the outer segments and a pronounced yellow throat, the anthers yellow, winter to spring Italy, Rhodes, Turkey, in maquis or light woodland.

Subsp. adamii. Leaves three to four. Flowers lilac or white with external stripes and a yellow throat, the anthers yellow. Widespread from Yugoslavia to northern Iran, in rocky or grassy places up to 2000m.

Subsp. alexandri.Leaves three to five. Flowers taller than other subspecies, white externally stained purple or occasionally striped and white throat, the anthers yellow. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, in scrub or stony pastures at around

1000m. Subsp. crewei. Leaves two to four. Flowers white with brownish stripes externally and yellow throat, the anthers black. Western Turkey and Cyclades, in rocky places, at 1200-1700m.

Subsp. isauricus. Leaves four to seven. Flowers white or lilac externally striped or flecked in purple, throat and anthers yellow. Southern Turkey, hillsides and light woodland up to 2000m.

Subsp. melantherus. Leaves three to five. Flowers white with purple or grey stripes or flecks, the throat yellow, anthers black, autumn. Southern Greece, in turf and maquis up to 1200m.

Subsp. nubigena. Leaves four to eight. Flowers lilac or white with external stripes or flecking, the throat yellow and anthers black. Western Turkey, in rocky places at 600-2000m.

Subsp. pseudonubigena. Leaves five to eight. Flowers white or lilac with external stripes and a yellow throat, the anthers black. South-eastern Turkey, in maquis at 500-1300m.

Subsp. pulchricolor. Leaves three to five. Flowers deep blue with a yellow throat, the anthers yellow. North-western Turkey, in alpine meadows in snow melt at 1000-2300m.

Subsp. punctatus. Leaves four to five. Flowers lilac with a yellow throat and external flecking, the anthers yellow though sometimes with blackish basal lobes. Southern Turkey, in grassy places and scrub at c.i000m.

Subsp. stridii. Leaves five to eight. Flowers lilac or white striped externally, the throat yellow and anthers black. Northeastern Greece, in grassy or sandy places and scrub up to 800m.

Subsp. tauri. Leaves four to nine. Flowers lilac with external dark veins or feathering, throat and anthers yellow. Turkey, Iraq, Iran, in rocky places and scrub up to 2800m.

Subsp. iveldenii. Leaves three to five. Flowers white with varying amounts of external flecking, the throat white and anthers yellow. Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania, in open rocky places and light woodland up to 750m. C. pallidus may be synonymous.

Cultivation of the biflorus subspecies varies enormously from one to another. Several are so similar as to be of interest only to the specialist. The most striking are subsp. biflorus in its better-marked forms, subsp. alexandri and subsp. iveldenii. Subsp. adamii has some attractive deep blue forms with strong external markings, whilst subsp. pulchricolor is highly desirable though needing more care than the others. [Pl.128]

Plant Portrait: Crocus biflorus subsp. nubigena - plant of the month march 2017

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus adamii

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus albocoronatus

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus alexandrii

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus artvinensis

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus crewei

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus fibroannulatus

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus isauricus

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus melantherus

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus nubigena

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus pseudonubigena

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus pulchricolor

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus punctatus

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus stridii

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus tauri

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus wattiorum

Crocus Pages: Crocus biflorus weldenii