This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Corm globose, 3/4in. diam.; tunics of matted parallel fibers: leaves as high as the flower, becoming 1/4in. broad, the margin ciliated and the keel very narrow: perianth-tube little exserted; segments 1-1 1/4 in. long, white tinged yellow towards throat (which is glabrous), the outer ones tinged or feathered with purple on back; anthers orange, about as long as the filaments; style-branches cream-white. Asia Minor. G. 31:17. variety luteus, Hort. Flowers yellow, more deeply colored at the base, 3 outer segments veined and mottled with purple.
Corm globose, 3/4in. or less diam., the tunic membranous: leaves about 4 to the tuft, as high as the flower, with reflexed margins and a white band: perianth-tube little exserted; segments 1-1 1/2 in. long, white, with a long central purple line and three shorter lines; throat yellow, glabrous; anthers orange, twice as long as filaments; style - branches red. Palestine. variety Foxii, Maw, has nearly black anthers. Gn. 74, p. 188.
aa. Blooming in autumn (sometimes in late summer and continuing toward autumn).
B. Style-branches entire or very nearly so.
c. Flowers white or lilac: basal spathe present (except in No. 26); upper spathe 2-lvd.
Fig. 1117. Corm 1 in. or more diam.: Ivs. 6-10, as tall as the flower, very narrow, ciliate-edged: perianth-tube little exserted; segments oblong and obtuse, bright lilac or even white; throat pubescent; anthers yellow, longer than filaments; style-branches 1 in. or more long, bright red (the source of saffron). Asia Minor. R.H. 1895, p. 573. - The commonest fall-blooming species.
Fig. 1117. Crocus sativus (X 2/3) bbb. Style-branches capillary-divided.
Much like C. sativus: usually smaller-fid., pure white, the segments pubescent at base: anthers bright orange, more than twice longer than the white or purple filaments. Greece, etc. - Runs into several forms. variety melitensis, Hort. Flowers feathered with purple and brown. Malta. variety Wilhelmii, Hort. Flowers pale, with purple markings outside near the throat.
Corm somewhat flattened or deflexed, 1/2- 3/4in. diam.: Ivs. appearing after the flowers, narrow-linear: perianth-tube exserted, 2-3 in.; segments 1-2 in. long, rose-lilac, purple-veined and orange-spotted within; throat yellow, pubescent; anthers white, 2-3 times longer than the yellow filaments; style-branches short and yellow. Cilicia. G.C. III. 23:85.
Corm ovoid, 3/4in. or less diam., with rigid tunic that has matted parallel fibers toward base: Ivs. 4-5 in a tuft, not reaching the flower, very narrow, with a white band and reflexed margins: perianth-tube much exserted; segments white, not 6triped, 1-134 in. long; throat yellow, glabrous or slightly pubescent; anthers pale yellow or cream-colored, twice the length of filament, style-branches much exceeding anthers, slender, yellow. Near Caspian Sea. Oct. G.C. III. 34:443.
cc. Flowers yellow: basal spathe present; upper spathe 1-lvd.
Corm globose and very small, the tunic membranous: Ivs. developed in spring and remaining till the flower appears; perianth-tube much exserted; segments bright yellow, 1-colored, 1 1/2-1 3/4 in. long; throat yellowish white; anthers pale yellow; style-branches nearly entire, orange-red, shorter than the stamens. Caucasus, Armenia, blooming end of July and in Aug. G.C. III. 32:321.
bb. Style-branches fimbriated or forked at the top: basal spathe present; upper spathe 1-lvd.
Corm 1/2 in. diam.: Ivs. 3-4, very short at flowering time, very narrow: perianth-tube much exserted; segments oblong and bright lilac, 1 1/2 in., never striped; throat slightly pubescent, yellow; anthers orange, more than twice as long as the filaments; style-branches scarlet, slightly compound. S. Eu. B.R. 30:3. - Not frequent.
Corm 1 in. or less: Ivs. 4-6, as high as the flower, very narrow: perianth-tube little exserted; segments oblong, 1 1/2 in., lilac or purple, indistinctly or not at all striped; throat glabrous; anthers yellow, much exceeding the filaments; style-branches orange-yellow, fimbriated. Spain. B.M. 1267. - Not frequent.
Corm somewhat depressed, 1 in. diam.: Ivs. about 6, not prominent at flowering time, very narrow: perianth-tube much exserted; segments l 1/2in. long, plain lilac; throat pubescent, yellowish; anthers orange, longer than the filaments; style-branches slender, orange. Morocco. B.M. 6000.
c. Flowers white.
d. Basal spathe present.
Very robust and vigorous: corm globose, 3/4 - l in. diam., the tunic of fine reticulated fibers; Ivs. 6 in the tuft, equaling the flowers: basal spathe 2 1/2 in. long; spathe 2-lvd., 4 in. long, leafy at top: perianth-tube 5 1/2 in. long, the segments white but with an orange glabrous throat; anthers yellow, 3 times as long as the filament. Probably Greece. - Differs from C. Boryi, to which it is closely related, by the basal spathe being present, yellow anthers, naked filaments, and reticulated tunic.
dd. Basal spathe absent.
Corm ovoid, 3/4in. or less diam., with rigid tunic broken into many small imbricated parts: Ivs. 3-4 in a tuft, as high as the flower, very narrow, with reflexed margins and a white band: upper spathe 2-lvd., very short: perianth much exserted; segments about 1 in. long, white and 1-colored or with 3-5 stripes of lilac on the back of outer segments; throat yellow, glabrous; anthers white, about as long as the papillose filaments; style-branches bright yellow, exceeding the anthers. Greece. variety Fontenayi, Bowles, is very late-blooming, and the flower has a buff tint, outside finely feathered with purple, and clear lilac inside. Gn. 74, p. 176.
Corm globular, 3/4in. or less diam.: Ivs. 3-6, narrow-linear, as high as the flowers: upper spathe 2-lvd.: perianth-tube short-exserted; segments 1-1 1/2 in. long, white, sometimes lilac-lined at the base outside; throat yellow, glabrous; anthers white, somewhat longer than the orange filaments; style-branches scarlet, divided into many capillary segments and exceeding the anthers. Greece. variety Tournefortii, Baker (C. Orphanidis, Hook. f. B.M. 5776), has lilac flowers variety marathoniseus, Baker (C. marathoniseus, Heldr.), has style-branches less divided than in the type, shorter and not overtopping the anthers. G.C. III. 40:335. Gn. 70, p. 273. G.M. 49:767.
cc. Flowers lilac (varying to white in No. 89). D. Basal spathe present; upper spathe 1-lvd.
Corm globular, 1 in. or less diam.: Ivs. 2-3, appearing in spring, narrow, becoming a foot or more high: perianth-tube much exserted; segments l 1/2 - 2 in. long, bright lilac; throat glabrous, whitish; anthers pale orange, twice the length of the yellow filaments; style-branches scarlet, with many capillary divisions. S. France, Italy.
Corm very small, stolonif-erous: Ivs. 3-4, appearing after the flowers, very narrow: perianth-tube much exserted; segments 1 1/2-2 in., lilac; throat glabrous; anthers large and yellow, twice as long as the filaments. Mts. S. France and Spain. - Long known in cultivation, but not common.
Corm globular, 3/4in. or less in diam.: Ivs. about 3, appearing in fall but not maturing till spring: perianth-tube short-protruded; segments 1 1/2 in. long, lilac; throat pubescent; anthers bright yellow, longer than the white filaments; style-branches orange," with many capillary divisions. Spain.
Corm 1/2in. diam.: leaves 2-4, developing after the flowers: perianth-tube much exserted; segments 2 in. or less long, the outer ones dark lilac and acute, the inner ones shorter and pale lilac or white; anthers orange, longer than the filaments. S. E. Eu. B.M. 6141. B.R. 33:4. - An old garden plant, but rarely seen in this country.
dd. Basal spathe absent; upper spathe 2-lvd.
Corm small, somewhat depressed: leaves produced after flowering, maturing in spring: perianth-tube much exserted; segments 1-1 1/2 in. long, bright lilac, more or less indistinctly striped; throat glabrous, bright yellow; anthers white, longer than the pubescent yellow filaments; style-branches orange, with many capillary branches. Greece to Asia Minor. B.R. 30:3.
Corm not stoloniferous, 1 in. or less: leaves usually 3, developing after the flowers, thin, very narrow, becoming 1 ft. long: perianth-tube much exserted; segments 1 1/2-2 in., lilac and feathered with darker color; anthers very large, bright orange, much exceeding the filaments. S. E. Eu. and Asia. B.M. 3861. Gn. 62, p. 265; 71, p. 613. B.R. 25:40. - Handsome and variable. variety albus, Hort. Flowers white. variety Aitchisonii, Foster (C. Aitchisonii, Hort.). Fig. 1118. More graceful than the type and larger, flowers paler in color, the segments more pointed, divisions of stigma more numerous and more spreading or even drooping: flowers very pale bluish lilac. Asia. G. 28:415. Gn. M. 8:228. L. H. B.
Fig. 1118. Crocus speciosus variety Aitchisonii. (X 1/2)