Cheerful Crocus in Bloom

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Cheerful Crocus

As I was walking through the crossroads toward the Boettcher Memorial Education Building, I met local garden writer Marcia Tatroe and her husband Randy photographing Yucca and Dasylirion. We chatted about the lovely day, and then Marcia turned me on to some Crocus blooming in the Water-Smart Garden. What a lovely cheerful yellow! It was perfect for the day and the hour.

As we looked closer, we discovered that one of the flowers was doubled: it had extra petals. Many people are enchanted by doubles, thinking they look abundant, effusive, and beautiful, but really they are mutants or accidents. Doubles can come from a change to the plants genes (a mutation) that can be propagated by an alert gardener. Other strange patterns might be either mutations or non-genetic accidents (caused by damage, disease or environmental conditions. Looking at it, how would we know? How could we tell?  

Comments

Matt Cole
The white crocus have joined the yellow, just a little bit down the path! Bees are happily buzzing also. There's so little in bloom that any flowers in bloom are certainly popular.
Kirk Bohn
Matt, It's great to finally see some signs of Spring!!!
barbara gingold
I grow reticulata irises in pots outdoors whenever I can get them in the fall, but the bulbs always seem to split up or dissolve into nothingness after blooming no matter what I do (or don't) to them. Here in Israel, we have other lovely, native species iris, and I'm sure that there must be some way to get these cultivated reticulatas to survive and even naturalize. Our Mediterranean winters are mild and wet (though we may have a snow or two in one season, ground never gets near freezing); the dry season starts in April or May and continues without a sprinkle till about Nov. 1st. My own garden is on stony clay soil (excellent drainage) on the acidic side due to the pine trees all around. Any idea how I can coax reticulatas into a longer life?

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