Latin name: Crocus
Other names: /
plant family: Iris plant
Number of species: about 80 species
circulation area: worldwide
original distribution area: probably Greece
Location of the plant: sunny
Blдtter: thin, long
Frьchte: different colors possible (blue, white, yellow, violet)
Blьtenfarbe: many colors possible (blue, violet, white, yellow)
Blьtezeit: Spring Crocuses (March), Autumn Crocuses (September)
Hцhe: 10 - 15cm
Older: perennial plant (about 2 - 6 years)
use: Ornamental plant
Plant information: Crocus
Of the crocus is a worldwide multi-annual tuber that belongs to the iris family and originates from Europe, the Orient and North Africa but today thrives in almost all temperate zones of the world. About ten species are native to Europe, with breeds having spawned numerous hybrid forms.
Depending on the variety, crocuses reach growth heights of up to fifteen centimeters and are distinguished between autumn-flowering and flowering species. They grow in the wild on meadows and dikes of the Alpine and pre-Alpine areas and are a popular ornamental plant in parks and gardens, where the winter hardy and spring-flowering varieties from February for the first noticeable color accents. Fall varieties bloom in September or October and are often mistaken for much more poisonous fall-time lots. The solitary and funnel-shaped flowers that spring from an overgrown tube appear in lilac blue, white, yellow or purple. The foliage of the herbaceous plants usually consists of five longish and thin leaves with smooth edges. Only after fertilization the capsule fruits are pushed out of the ground.
The crocus-containing picrococin is slightly toxic to humans, but can cause stomach aches, vomiting and bleeding, especially in young children. For animals, especially rabbits, but also for dogs, cats and horses, the crocus poison can be life-threatening.
In general, crocuses are used exclusively as an ornamental plant. Only the saffron, which is also known under the botanical name Crocus sativus and blooms in light purple, is a popular and expensive spice, which consists of the dried orange-red stamps of the plant and must be harvested by hand. The aromatic scent and slightly sweet taste made saffron in ancient times a favorite luxury of Greek and Roman citizens. The carotenoids contained in saffron are also an excellent coloring agent, which was used both for yellowing garments and for coloring gold inscriptions.
Today, saffron is especially popular as a spice, as it gives many foods an intense yellow appearance in addition to its delicate and characteristic taste. Crocus sativus thrives in many European countries and is cultivated mainly in Spain, France, Austria, Italy, Greece and Turkey. However, due to the high price of this precious spice, numerous falsifications derived from other plants are available, but they can neither mimic the sweet taste nor the coloring properties of genuine saffron.
This information is for scholastic work only and is not intended to identify edible or inedible plants. Eat or Never use found plants or fruits without appropriate expertise!