Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

Cro­cus These minia­ture cor­mous peren­ni­als ap­pear in late winter and early spring, bright­en­ing the scene with their gob­let­shaped flow­ers, in shades rang­ing from deep pur­ple to white. C. tom­masini­anus, the ear­li­est to bloom, may look frag­ile but are pretty ro­bust, self­seed­ing ev­ery­where in full sun and reap­pear­ing year af­ter year in ever-in­creas­ing clumps. They have slen­der, grass-like fo­liage and pur­ple or lilac flow­ers with gold cen­tres. Good va­ri­eties in­clude ‘Al­bus’, which is white and ‘Ruby Gi­ant’, which bears red­dish pur­ple flow­ers and doesn’t self seed. Large-flow­ered hy­brids such as ‘Ard Schenk’ and ‘Blue Pearl’ are good for nat­u­ral­is­ing or grow­ing in ir­reg­u­lar drifts.

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