Spring has sprung and these crocuses are the first to bloom. These photos were taken yesterday, outside a Fifth Avenue apartment building not far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Snow crocuses get their name, as they are the earliest of spring flowers. They often burst into bloom, while snow is still on the ground. These hardy flowers will begin to grow with a warm spell in late winter or early spring. If it snows again before they bloom or during bloom, that's okay. They will be unharmed. It only takes a few days growth to blossom into the first bright colors of the year. While many of us think of them as early spring bloomers, some varieties of Crocus will bloom in the fall.
Natives of Southern Europe and Asia, Crocuses are as popular in other parts of the world, as they are in your own back yard. Their early blooms brightens up the landscape around the world with white, yellow, blue, and light orange flowers above thin grass-like leaves. These small plants grow just 3-4 inches tall. Best of all, they are easy to grow and very prolific.
While many people refer to them as bulbs, Crocuses are actually corms, a bulb-like stem.
Not only are crocuses good flowers in the garden, they make good houseplants. You can easily force them to bloom indoors. See Forcing Bulbs.
Did you know? The word "Crocus" is Latin for Saffron. Knowing this, it should not surprise you that Saffron comes from the stigma of the Saffron Crocus. But, it takes thousands of flowers to get an ounce of Saffron.