Crocus Stamen & Stigmata: Photos

After following the commandment yesterday to, “Consider the Lilies”, I became more interested in considering the crocus, too. Emily called them the “vassal of the snow,” but today they’ll be free to worship the sun.

This morning I went out to observe the tenderest portion of the crocus, its reproductive element, the flower. While snooping inside this tender spot–early spring homes for gnats and bees–I did spy a few of these little creatures at work and rest.

The crocus is different from the lily in that its stigma is divided into three at the tip of the style. The lily’s stigma is a tri-bulbous unit; the crocus’ stigma is a separated threesome we refer to in its plural form–stigmata (Stig-Muh-Tuh). The stamen (male portion of the flower) is also different. The lily has 6 stamen, while the crocus has but 3.

There is a fall flower that looks very much like the crocus and is mistaken for crocus called colchicum (Kohl-Chick-Um). It is actually part of the Lily family (Liliaceae) and has 6 stamen as well. If you ever wonder–crocus or colchicum–just count the stamen–three equals crocus, six equals colchicum.

Here are my pictures from the garden from this morning, a beautiful early spring day–temps climbing to 65. The focus is on the pistil (stigma, style and ovary–female parts) and the stamen (filament and anther–male parts).

Enjoy a walk through my garden’s tenderest and most private early April places as the crocus slowly open themselves up to the day’s sun.

“Crocuses come up, in the garden off the dining room.” Emily Dickinson quote from a letter.

7 responses to “Crocus Stamen & Stigmata: Photos

  1. Crocuses always seem so fragile. They can go from stretching proudly up in the sunshine to collapsing in a withered heap under the weight of rain or snow.

  2. Carole Krysan

    I’m a big fan of “up close and personal” with flowers. So much of their beauty is not apparent from a distance. I also appreciate your “botanical” comments. We’ve had such an unusually warm spring here in the MidWest that I’m afraid there will be no flowers left to bloom in May. Lilacs are in full bloom now.

    • emilydickinsonsgarden

      Carole, I was envious of your warm temperatures, but you make a good point about how it effects the garden. I hope there is some surprise for you in May. Do you plant dahlias? They’re a late bloomer around here–late July.

  3. What beautiful images, in their colors and fragility. It was such a chilly and really windy day here in the east today. I walked outside, and saw lots of trees beginning to bud, but no flowers on my walk …

    • emilydickinsonsgarden

      No flowers, Joanne? That’s sad. I would have thought you’d have some by now. On my walk today I saw the buttercups–always a good sign of spring.

  4. I am trying to identify these blooms. According to your info, they are crocuses (3 stamen). I cannot remember if they bloom in spring (in bloom now), but they send up greenery in the spring and when it dries, send out seed pods with small reddish brown seeds. I have not planted any corcuses except 2 batches of crocus sativus. the first bloomed as per note web photos then died out. the second never showed up unless these are them after a good 5+ years. how do I send a photo?

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