There are about 80 species as well as numerous garden forms and hybrids, of dwarf, cormous, clump forming perennials, in this genus. They occur in a wide variety of habitats including woodland, scrub, and meadows, from coastal to subalpine areas in Central and Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Western China. They produce grass like foliage. The small, mainly goblet shaped flowers (1 to 4 or more per corm) open in autumn or early spring to reveal inner tepals., often in contrasting colors. The 6 tepals forming the bowl of the flower are usually each 3/4-2″ long, while the perianth tube may be up to 6″ long. The styles are either 3 branched (with expanded or frilled ends), 6 branched or multi branched (with more than 6 branches).Semi erect linear to linear lance shaped leaves, mostly mid green with pale silvery green central stripes, usually appear at the same time as or soon after the flowers and elongate markedly as the flowers fade. In some autumn flowering species, flowers appear before the leaves.
Grow Crocus in drifts in a mixed or herbaceous border, or in a rock garden raised bed, or trough, the most vigorous are useful for naturalizing in short grass. Some need a dry summer dormancy, and these are best grown in a bulb frame or alpine house.
Plant Crocuses 3-4″ deep: spring flowering ones in autumn, and autumn flowering one in late summer. They do best in a cool to cold area, moist, but well drained soil in full sun or part shade.