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Crocus crossing

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Hello everyone

I was wondering if Specie Crocus "Snow Crocus" and Crocus Vernus "Giant Crocus" cross to each other?

I did try crossing these last spring, not sure if my "hand pollinated" attempt worked, but I did get seeds. I did find that the Giant Crocus did better making seed pods. I only collect a handful of pods from the snow crocus.

I have around 700 crocus around the yard in different spots. Just your normal everyday type from mail order catalogs. Next fall I will be purchasing 1500-2k snow crocus, 100-150 each of each form I can find for a good price. These will be planted in a sand/compost bed for bulb and seed production. I figure in 3 years I should have enough to start the smallest of my three grass banks, and work from there. Growing from seed takes 3-4 years to flower from what I have read, so I would like to get a good start this spring and next.

Is there a link I could be pointed to, that tells what can be crossed with what forms? Or maybe that tells which are sterile pollen/pod and which are not. I don't want to get caught up trying to cross things that won't work.


mark smyth:
Guff, Thomas and/or Tony will have views on this. They'll get the email query and will reply in time. Welcome to the forums

Thomas Huber:
Hello Guff and welcome to the SRGC Forum!

No, you can NOT cross Snow Crocus (C. chrysanthus/biflorus) and Giant Crocus (C. vernus)!! The seeds you have are surely Crocus vernus, but they may be hybrids of different vernus variants.

You only can cross different chrysanthus and biflorus cultivars like Ard Schenk, Goldilocks, Blue Pearl... Some of these variants have defective anthers (Aubade, Cream  Beauty, Dorothy, Elegance, Fuscotinctus, Ladykiller, Moonlight, Prins Claus, Romance,  Snowbunting, Skyline, White Triumphator) which means, they can not be pollinated with their own pollen but with healthy pollen from other variants. I have a good seed set on the following: Ard Schenk, Cream Beauty, Princess Beatrix, Skyline, Zenith, EP Bowles, Herald, Jeannine and all vernus cultivars, and in my impure crocus lawn lots of beautiful Hybrids appeared in the last years.

You could cross C. tommasinianus and C. vernus, but this is not easy, as the tommies are very early in the year and C. vernus are always the last crocus that get into flower!

In trade you can also buy some C. sieberi cultivars, which also can be crossed - exept Hubert Edelsten, which is sterile.

If you want to avoid selfpollinating of the plants you have to cut the anthers!

Hope this helps!

Ian Y:
Welcome to the forum Guff,
As you can see from the comprehensive repy above from Thomas we have experts in all fields.
Can I ask that complete your signature strip so we can know your real name and where you are in the world. We try to keep the forum friendly and personal and if you will add that information to your profile we will all be better off, a picture is nice as well.
Keep posting and enjoying the site.

Maggi Young:
Hello, "Guff", glad to have you with us!  Thomas, who has replied to you, and Tony Goode are our main Crocus experts, and leaders of the  "Croconuts" here. Tony has a great site which you may access from the links pagge or from the globe icon on any of his posts. Might I also suggest you take a look at the many crocus pages on the old SRGC froum, now archived,(Main pgae here:  http://www.srgc.org.uk/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi ) which will show you just how fantastic these plants can look when grown naturally in the garden... it will surely inspire you to be patient for your seed programme to come to flower!! Another of our Forumists, Franz Hadacek, has a stunning meadow with all sorts of bulbs naturalised and looking truly spectacular... his photos are a joy to see. Have fun with your  project, we look forward to seeing how it comes along.


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