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

Crocus tommasinianus

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
View this plant in a garden


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


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


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring






Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


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


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

Grand Mound, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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 other tommies, whose most important garden feature is that they bloom before almost anything else, including most other crocuses. That could be an advantage if you're trying to extend the tommie season on the late end.


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.


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.