Tag Archives: stages of the crocus

Spring at Last: Stages of a Crocus

This diagram is from A Handbook of Crocus and Colchicum for Gardeners by E. A. Bowles Ma.A., F.L.S., F.r.E.S., V.M.H. published by The Garden Book Club, 121 Charing Cross Road, London WC2. in 1955. I found this on a wonderful British site: Ivy Dene Gardens.

“She opens the paper wrappings,
hands delicate as a crocus unfolding
in the morning light. Little hands working
to part the frail chapter of circumstance
where histories float like clouds on an untouchable scrim.”

From, The Vistor, by Anya Russian

Here are the stages of the Crocus, in pictures, taken from my own garden Spring 2011.

1. Leaves push up from the ground.

2. Spathe emerges. You can see the purple of the flower cocooned within. This is like the birthing phase and the spathe is like the womb. It almost looks alien.

3. Bloom pushes out of the spathe.

4. Bloom begins to unfold.

And unfold…

And unfold.

More crocus in The Garden:

Karin Gottshall from her book: Crocus

To read entire book, click on link above.

I was in bed all day with the sun

and a heavy dictionary.
I watched the cat fall asleep
on the wove rug. Outside

a bird unspooled its song in wide,
round loops: drifting off,
coming back. Memory is like that—

words loosed like dust motes,
a dream I slip into: this cat’s
green-eyed mother, her grave

under licorice root and money trees.
Then come the angels of the afternoon
with their wings of flame.

one day language will unbind itself
from me—even to the barest
particulars: the first time

I heard the word crocus, the new
spring sun on my shoulder, smell
of mud—quick freshet
working itself free. At last
to release this word I
into the long blue currents of the sea.

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.

Stages of a Crocus

This diagram is from A Handbook of Crocus and Colchicum for Gardeners by E. A. Bowles Ma.A., F.L.S., F.r.E.S., V.M.H. published by The Garden Book Club, 121 Charing Cross Road, London WC2. in 1955. I found this on a wonderful British site: Ivy Dene Gardens.

“She opens the paper wrappings,
hands delicate as a crocus unfolding
in the morning light. Little hands working
to part the frail chapter of circumstance
where histories float like clouds on an untouchable scrim.”

From, The Vistor, by Anya Russian

Here are the stages of the Crocus, in pictures, taken from my own garden Spring 2011.

1. Leaves push up from the ground.

2. Spathe emerges. You can see the purple of the flower cocooned within. This is like the birthing phase and the spathe is like the womb. It almost looks alien.

3. Bloom pushes out of the spathe.

4. Bloom begins to unfold.

And unfold…

And unfold.

More crocus in The Garden:

Karin Gottshall from her book: Crocus

To read entire book, click on link above.

I was in bed all day with the sun

and a heavy dictionary.
I watched the cat fall asleep
on the wove rug. Outside

a bird unspooled its song in wide,
round loops: drifting off,
coming back. Memory is like that—

words loosed like dust motes,
a dream I slip into: this cat’s
green-eyed mother, her grave

under licorice root and money trees.
Then come the angels of the afternoon
with their wings of flame.

one day language will unbind itself
from me—even to the barest
particulars: the first time

I heard the word crocus, the new
spring sun on my shoulder, smell
of mud—quick freshet
working itself free. At last
to release this word I
into the long blue currents of the sea.