Not the plant you're looking for? Search over 300,000 plants

Crocus cartwrightianus
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

wild saffron

A perennial corm with numerous narrow leaves developing with the flowers in autumn or early winter. Flowers lilac-purple, heavily veined deep purple, with long, deep red stigmas

Synonyms
Crocus sativus var. cartwrightianus
Size
Ultimate height
Up to 10cm
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring
Summer
Autumn
Winter Purple Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Crocus are dwarf, deciduous perennials growing from a corm, with linear leaves usually with a silvery central stripe, and goblet-shaped, sometimes fragrant flowers in autumn or early spring

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Greece

Advertise here

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a bulb frame or alpine house in a mix of equal parts loam, leaf mould and sharp sand or grit. Water freely in the growing season and apply a low-nitrogen fertiliser monthly. Keep completely dry in summer dormancy

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame when ripe or remove cormlets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Gravel garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Rock garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Garden edging
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Corms are vulnerable to mice, voles and squirrels

Diseases

Corms in storage may be subject to rots and moulds

My Garden

Your free RHS gardening coach

Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully

My plants
My calendar

My plants

My calendar

My ideas
Manage membership

My ideas

My advice

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.