Crocus serotinus - Salisb.
Common Name
Family Iridaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Stony slopes in scrub and open pine woods[90].
Range Southern Europe to Northern Africa and Western Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Crocus serotinus
Crocus serotinus
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Crocus serotinus is a CORM growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 5-Nov It is in flower from Nov to December. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, butterflies.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Colouring;  Condiment.

The flowers are used as a saffron substitute in flavouring food and colouring it yellow[177, 183].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses

The yellow dye obtained from the stigmas yields a yellow dye, it is a saffron substitute[177].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in most soils, conditions and positions[1]. Plants grow well in a peaty soil in a bulb frame and should succeed outdoors in a sandy peaty soil[90]. The subspecies C. serotinus austriacus can be naturalized in grass or beneath deep rooting trees on light well-drained soils[200]. Plants tend to move considerably from their original planting place because of their means of vegetative reproduction, it is therefore wise not to grow different species in close proximity[1]. Any planting out is best done in late spring or early summer[245]. Mice are very fond of the corms of this species[1]. Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed[200]. The flowers are only open during the day time, closing at night[245].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light sandy soil in pots in a cold frame[1]. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring[1]. Sow thinly because the seed usually germinates freely[1], within 1 - 6 months at 18°c[164]. Unless the seed has been sown too thickly, do not transplant the seedlings in their first year of growth, but give them regular liquid feeds to make sure they do not become deficient. Divide the small bulbs once the plants have died down, planting 2 - 3 bulbs per 8cm pot. Grow them on for another 2 years in a greenhouse or frame and plant them out into their permanent positions when dormant in late summer[K]. Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed[200]. Division f the clumps after the leaves die down in spring[1, 200]. The bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Crocus serotinus  

Plant Uses

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