crocus

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crocus:

see irisiris,
common name for members of the genus Iris of the Iridaceae, a family of perennial herbs that includes the crocuses, freesias, and gladioli. The family is characterized by thickened stem organs (bulbs, corms, and rhizomes) and by linear or sword-shaped
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crocus

 

a genus of perennial cormous stemless plants of the family Iridaceae. The flowers are solitary or, less commonly, in groups of two or three. Glumaceous scales that seem to arise directly from the bulb surround the variously colored flowers. The numerous radical and linear leaves usually develop during or after the flowering period.

There are about 80 species in Europe and Asia. The USSR has 19 species, found mainly in Transcaucasia, in the Crimea, and in the mountainous meadows of the Tien-Shan and the Dzhungar Alatau. Crocuses are cultivated in many countries, including the USSR. They are used as a coloring and flavoring agent by the food and candy industries. Many species have especially beautiful flowers.

The most common species raised as ornamentals are C. tomasinianus, whose light violet flowers bloom in the beginning or middle of April; the common crocus (C. vernus), whose lilac, white, or purple-striped flowers bloom in April; C. chrysanthus, whose yellow flowers bloom in February and March; and C. speciosus, whose lilac flowers bloom in September. Crocuses are propagated by bulbs, corms, or seeds. The soil must be light in texture and fertilized with humus. The corms are planted at a depth of 5–6 cm. Autumn-blooming species are planted in the spring, and spring-blooming species are planted in the fall and covered with leaves and spruce branches. The corms of plants that have blossomed are dug out, dried, and cleaned of earth, roots, and old scales; they are stored at a temperature of 17°C until planting. Plants grown from seed bloom in the second or third season. Garden and wild crocuses are planted in groups on lawns or in rock gardens. Garden forms are often forced during the winter.

Stigmata from the saffron crocus (C. sativus) were formerly used medicinally in a compound tincture of aloe and in infusions of opium and saffron.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

crocus

[′krō·kəs]
(botany)
A plant of the genus Crocus, comprising perennial herbs cultivated for their flowers.
(materials)
Finely powdered oxide of iron, of dark red color, used for buffing and polishing.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

crocus

symbol of cheerfulness. [Flower Symbolism: Jobes, 383]

Crocus

distressed by unrequited love, changed by Hermes into a saffron plant. [Gk. Myth.: Avery, 338]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

crocus

1. any plant of the iridaceous genus Crocus, widely cultivated in gardens, having white, yellow, or purple flowers
2. another name for jeweller's rouge
3. of a saffron yellow colour
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Crocuses grow from small corms, like flattened bulbs, which are widely sold in garden centres for early autumn planting.
It takes about 4,000 crocuses to produce an ounce of saffron.
The first crocuses have pushed up their purple buds and on a sunny day will open wide their perfect chalices.
These joyous flowers can brighten up large stretches of garden or parkland rodgersias Hardy crocuses must withstand the cold and squirrels
These small, extra-early diminutive crocuses are only somewhat deer-resistant, but are worth planting for their lilac, yellow or lobelia-blue blooms.
Dutch crocuses is a group made up of large flowered hybrids, one of the most striking being is Pickwick, right.
Thanks to the mild winter, crocuses are already popping out of the ground to give us that welcoming burst of colour which, to me, always brings that happy feeling that spring is on the way.
Elyssa-May Johnson, aged two, looks for daffodils amongst the crocuses in Thomson |Park, Cardiff.
Yes, it's time to get planting crocuses for your autumn borders.
They may look fragile, with their delicate flowers in shades from purple and pale lavender to yellow and white, but crocuses are surprisingly resilient.
They may look fragile, with their delicate flowers in shades from purple and pale lavender to yellow and white, but crocuses are surprisingly resilient and can be planted at any time in autumn or early winter providing they have been stored in a cool dark place.