Crocus tommasinianus (Early Crocus)

Scientific Name

Crocus tommasinianus Herb.

Common Names

Early Crocus, Woodland Crocus, Tommasini's Crocus, Botanical Crocus, Snow Crocus, Lilac Tommy, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers


Crocus serbicus, Crocus vernus var. tommasinianus

Scientific Classification

Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Crocoideae
Genus: Crocus


Color: From lilac to deep purple
Bloom Time: Early spring


Crocus tommasinianus is a cormous perennial with a lilac flower and is one of the smaller of the cultivated species of the genus Crocus. It has tubed flowers, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, which appear in early spring, as the narrow leaves emerge. The flowers vary from lilac to deep purple, sometimes paler outside.

Crocus tommasinianus - Early Crocus
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How to Grow and Care

Crocus bulbs need well-drained soil in a sunny to a partially sunny location. They thrive in a soil pH of 6 to 7 and are tolerant of a wide range of soils. You may even grow Crocus on the lawn, but be careful as they will naturalize and spread to become a potential nuisance.

Plant the Crocus bulbs in groups in the garden bed for impact or even under trees, as they need little root space. Bulbs are planted 3 inches (7.5 cm) deep and 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) apart. Provide mulch over the planting area in very cold zones but rake it away in early spring so the flowers can emerge. Gardeners in zones where the winters are too harsh or too warm to plant in fall can force the Crocus bulbs indoors in time for spring planting.

Animals can be a big problem with Crocus bulbs. Squirrels and other rodents will dig up the bulbs and eat them, and deer will graze on the early foliage. You can cover the spring bulb bed with wire mesh to prevent squirrel damage, and there are deer repellents you can try to prevent their feeding on your flowers. See more at How to Grow and Care for Crocus.


Native to Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.


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