Crocus vernus is a species in Family Iridaceae, native to the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Balkans. Its cultivars and those of Crocus flavus are used as ornamental plants. The Dutch crocuses are larger than the other cultivated crocus species.
Crocus vernus is an early spring blooming bulb (actually a corm) that is primarily native to high alpine areas in Europe (Pyrenees, Alps and Carpathians). Many popular hybrids of this crocus have been developed over the years. Species plants and hybrids are commonly called Dutch crocus, large flowering crocus, giant crocus or spring crocus. Flowers bloom in early spring for about three weeks (typically beginning in late March in the St. Louis area). Flowers close at night and open up in the morning, but usually remain closed on rainy/cloudy days. Basal, grass-like leaves. Foliage yellows as plants go dormant several weeks after bloom. Genus name comes from krokos the ancient Greek name for saffron (Crocus sativus.) It is one of the most ancient plant names.