Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Naked-flowering Crocus
Crocus nudiflorus

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crocus (KROH-kus) (Info)
Species: nudiflorus (noo-dee-FLOR-us) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Howard_C
Thumbnail #1 of Crocus nudiflorus by Howard_C

By Howard_C
Thumbnail #2 of Crocus nudiflorus by Howard_C

By philomel
Thumbnail #3 of Crocus nudiflorus by philomel

By philomel
Thumbnail #4 of Crocus nudiflorus by philomel

By Galanthophile
Thumbnail #5 of Crocus nudiflorus by Galanthophile

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #6 of Crocus nudiflorus by Todd_Boland


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral philomel On Nov 7, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

Thanks for the fascinating notes Howard_C. Your flowers look a deeper colour than any of the ones I've seen over here in the wild. They have been flowering here since September, and I've seen them from high in the Pyrenees to some relatively low ground near where I live.

Positive Howard_C On May 16, 2004, Howard_C from St John's, NL wrote:

This plant is very tough, it is the only autumn flowering crocus that we have been able to naturalise in our lawn in St John's, Newfoundland, and I have seen it growing right in the middle of the race track at Warwick (UK) racecourse. Unusually for a crocus, it increases by stolons and can come up several inches away from the original site. Yet it is rarely offered in the trade and is expensive when it is. I imported two corms from Broadleigh Gardens in 1978 at 75p each, and now have literally hundreds of plants.

It is the earliest of the true autmn croci here, appearing in late September and continuing through October. The flowers are quite large and a rich purple with contrasting yellow anthers and stigmas. The typical silver-centred, grassy leaves come up in spring and must be allowed to die down naturally to keep the flowers coming. The corms may be lifted for replanting in August. N.B. the corms produced at the ends of the stolons are long and narrow, more like worms or pupae than normal crocus corms, but they will adopt the 'right' shape before flowering! Flowering corms are rather small.

The history of this species is quite interesting since, although it is native to the mountain meadows of the French-Spanish border area it was first described from England, where there are long established feral populations in mediaeval Lamas fields whose regime of grazing only during summer and winter suited a plant that is above ground in autumn and spring. (E.g. those at Warwick racecourse.) There is strong evidence that this species was used as a source of saffron by the herbalists of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, since many of the English populations are at locations formerly occupied by them. It has also been shown that their stigmas contain the same chemicals as those of the true saffron crocus, C. sativus, even if they are a lot smaller. We have collected our own saffron for the last few years, picking the stigmas out with tweezers and drying them on top of the fridge - but I'm glad my living doesn't depend on it!


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

Garberville, California
, Newfoundland and Labrador

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