Durango BOtanic Gardens

Building Public Gardens Committed to Demonstration and Education

No Bloomin' Way! A Fall Crocus in January?

09 Feb 2020 9:15 AM | William LeMaire (Administrator)

Mike Smedley, vice president of Bank of the San Juans, Action Line columnist for the Durango Herald, winner of the Durango Chamber of Commerce's Ultimate Participation Award, and strong supporter of the Durango Botanic Gardens shared this item with us about a late January surprise in his yard... 

Something gardeners might be interested in...blooms in January! Here is a shot from the last day of January.  I was outside looking around, being grumpy because gardeners are grumpy in January, when I spied something in the tawny buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides). I thought it was some trash. Think again. I had a fall blooming crocus in January!

     This is Crocus speciosus, from northern and central Turkey, the Caucusus Mountains, northern Iran and Crimea. I don't know why this is not grown more. It's a great corm. In any case, in normal conditions, this geophyte blooms around Halloween or a week later. This year was not normal. Spring was incredibly cool. Summer came late. We had hard freezes very early, and this was probably one of the shortest growing seasons in history for a place that has normally short growing seasons. In any case, the later blooming fall crocus didn't bloom this year. I shrugged it off. But when the weather started warming as it did in late January, I'll be damned. They bloomed. What a treat. Nature always finds a way. 

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