A picture of a Large Autumn Crocus

Large Autumn Crocus

Crocus speciosus

Also known as

Bieberstein's Crocus

Crocus speciosus flower close-up by Meneerke bloem (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering
Frost Hardy

H6

RHS hardiness

-20°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

10cm

Max

10cm

1cm

Min

1cm

3 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

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A photo of Large Autumn Crocus

Large Autumn Crocus Overview

Crocus speciosus is a cormous perennial from the Iris family, Iridaceae. It produces solitary, pale lavender coloured, goblet-shaped flowers with conspicuous yellow stamens and a white throat. The flowers emerge in autumn before the dark-green, linear leaves. This species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit. It is also part of the RHS “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden! Large Autumn Crocus or Bieberstein's Crocus as it's also known, multiplies quickly by either seed or offsets. It is therefore ideal for naturalising in grassy areas as well as suiting many other garden locations. It needs full sun and gritty, poor to moderately fertile soil to perform well. Plant Crocus speciosa corms with the pointed end up, at a depth of 8-10cm in late summer. Alternatively, seed can be sown in pots in a cold frame when ripe.

Common problems with Large Autumn Crocus

Corms are sometimes eaten by mice, voles and squirrels. While in storage (dormant) the corms are susceptible to rots and moulds.

    How to harvest Large Autumn Crocus

    Generally not harvested.

    How to propagate Large Autumn Crocus

    Division

    Remove cormlets when dormant

    Seed

    In pots in a cold frame when ripe.

    Special features of Large Autumn Crocus

    Attractive flowers

    Autumn colour

    Attracts useful insects

    An RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' plant.

    Other uses of Large Autumn Crocus

    Walls, rock garden, borders.