The Crocus genus contains over 100 perennial corms which are deciduous and produce a range of dwarf, colourful, rounded, goblet-shaped flowers in autumn or spring. The colours most commonly seen are purple, white and yellow, and they typically do not grow over 8cm high or spread further than 8cm wide. Perfect for en-masse outdoor swathes, they can also be grown in containers for indoor seasonal displays. Some have a sweet fragrance. Make sure you plant Crocus corms with the pointed end up, at a depth of 8-10cm. The distance apart will depend on the species, and when planting outdoors, the more you plant the better! These low maintenance perennials will only need watering once - at planting time - and will rot if planted in damp locations. Crocus can be fed after flowering, when the linear leaves, characterised by a silver stripe down the middle, are still in active growth. (They elongate as flowers fade.) If naturalised in grass, delay mowing until the leaves die back. With species adapted to woodland, meadow or scrubland habitats, there is a Crocus that will suit most growing locations from low altitudes at sea level, to alpine tundra. This genus is widely cultivated, and many colourful varieties have been produced, including striated multi-coloured blooms, and species that produce more abundant flowers. The most notable species is Crocus sativus from which the spice saffron is produced. Crocus provide a vital food source for pollinating insects that are woken early by strong spring sunshine!