Early Crocus, Tommasini's Crocus, Snow Crocus, Tommies
Crocus tommasinianus 'Ruby Giant'

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crocus (KROH-kus) (Info)
Species: tommasinianus (toh-mas-see-nee-AH-nus) (Info)
Cultivar: Ruby Giant
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Category:

Alpines and Rock Gardens

Bulbs

Height:

under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Blue-Violet

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Variegated

Smooth-Textured

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:

Flowers are fragrant

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Garberville, California

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Macy, Indiana

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Pinconning, Michigan

Layton, Utah

Newport News, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:

3
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Feb 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

'Ruby Giant' is a sterile hybrid, so it increases only by offsets and not by seed. It's larger and more intensely colored than any C. tommasinianus I know.

One feature that's a big drawback in my book: it blooms about 10 days later than most tommies.

Positive

On Jun 22, 2007, PhilsFlowers from Ocean Park, Surrey, BC (Zone 6b) wrote:

These are the first crocuses to bloom in our garden here in Surrey. I begin looking for them in mid-February because other people have theirs in bloom by that time. Mine are usually a week later, probably because they are in the shade of large cedar trees for part of the day. I feed them when they look like they are about to come out of the ground, Mother Nature waters them frequently and they reward me with great beauty that lifts my spirits because I know that winter is almost over.

Positive

On Apr 3, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Crocus tomasinianus is the first crocus to bloom for me come spring (late March in Newfoundland). It multiplies quite fast, both from offsets as well as self-seeding...but its not invasive, being small and disappearing by the time other plants come along. It is by far one of the easiest 'species' crocus. 'Ruby Giant' is a rich purple-blue, while the straight species is more silvery-lilac.