Corm tunic fibrous with some reticulation. Leaves 4-6mm wide, fully or partially developed at flowering time. Flowers 8-12cm tall, lilac, purple or white with varying stripes outside and on the tube, the three-branched style orange and expanded at the tip, spring. Widespread in mountains of central and eastern Europe, in meadows up to 1500m C.v. subsp. albiflorus, inc. C. siculus (syn. C. caeruleus, C. montenegrinus). Similar to subsp. vernus but flowers 5-7cm tall. Mountains of western and central Europe near melting snow, up to 2500m. Subsp. vernus is easy to grow and is the parent of the large-flowered Dutch crocuses e.g. 'Jeanne d'Arc', 'Remembrance', 'Vanguard' etc. These are more suitable for naturalising in borders or shrub beds than in the rock garden. Subsp. albiflorus is more difficult to establish; both subsp. prefer a moist situation.
Crocus Pages: Crocus vernus albiflorus