Snow Crocus Crocus chrysanthus

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
golden crocus


Crocus chrysanthus, commonly known as Snow Crocus or Winter Crocus, is a flowering plant notable for its early spring bloom, often emerging while snow is still present. The most striking feature of Snow Crocus is its vibrant, cup-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colors including yellow, white, lavender, and purple, often with contrasting colored throats and outer petal markings. These delicate-looking flowers have a radiant, satiny sheen and usually consist of six petal-like segments, which might open fully on sunny days or stay closed when it's overcast. Surrounding the blossoms are grass-like leaves, which are narrow, dark green with a pale stripe running down the center. The leaves typically appear either just before or alongside the flowers. Snow Crocus typically blooms in tufts, creating attractive clusters of color. The flowers are borne on short stems that rise directly from the bulb, nestled at the plant's base concealed by the soil. After flowering, the plant's foliage continues to grow for a short period before it goes dormant and disappears for the rest of the growing season. The plant is often planted in drifts or clusters in gardens and lawns for an early hint of spring, producing a charming effect when nestled amongst other early bloomers or peaking out of the last remnants of snow.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snow Crocus, Golden Crocus, Winter Crocus.

    • Common names

      Crocus aureus, Crocus candidus, Crocus korolkowii, Crocus sulphureus, Crocus versicolor.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Crocus chrysanthus, most commonly known as the snow crocus, is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no significant concerns regarding the toxicity of this plant to people, and accidental ingestion is unlikely to result in poisoning or severe consequences. However, it is always advisable to refrain from ingesting parts of ornamental plants as a general safety precaution.

    • To pets

      Crocus chrysanthus, also referred to as the snow crocus, is not highly toxic to pets. It does not contain the same level of toxic compounds as the autumn crocus, which is known to be harmful. If your pet consumes parts of the snow crocus, they might experience mild gastrointestinal upset, but serious poisoning is rare. However, it's important to distinguish the snow crocus from the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), as the latter contains colchicine and is highly toxic to pets, causing severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even organ failure.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-6 inches (7.5-15 cm)

    • Spread

      1-3 inches (2.5-7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Balkans Turkey


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Bloomer: Crocus chrysanthus, commonly known as Snow Crocus, is one of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, adding color to the garden when most plants are still dormant.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Snow Crocus offers a variety of colors including yellow, white, blue, and purple, which can enhance the visual appeal of any garden space.
    • Low Maintenance: Snow Crocus is known for being hardy and low maintenance, requiring minimal care once established in the right conditions.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, supporting the ecosystem.
    • Naturalizing: Snow Crocus has the ability to naturalize, spreading and multiplying over time, which can create a carpet of color when planted in drifts.
    • Versatility: These plants are suitable for a variety of garden settings, including rock gardens, borders, and lawns.
    • Cold Tolerance: Snow Crocus is cold-tolerant, able to withstand freezing temperatures and snow, making it suitable for cooler climates.
    • Size Advantage: Their small size makes them ideal for planting in pots or small spaces, where they can thrive and add a splash of color.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The corms of Crocus chrysanthus can be used as a source of starch for small-scale craft glue production. The starch acts as a simple adhesive for paper and lightweight materials.
    • The petals of the Crocus chrysanthus, known as Snow Crocus, may be used to create natural dyes for fabrics, yielding pale yellow to golden hues depending on the concentration and mordant used.
    • Fibers from the dried leaves and stems can be twisted into twine or fine threads for traditional crafting uses by those skilled in fiber arts.
    • The Snow Crocus has been cultivated for use in ornamental garden design, not just for its early spring blooms but also as an indicator plant that reflects the progression of the seasons.
    • The flower's ability to bloom in cold temperatures makes it an ideal candidate for refrigerated floral arrangements, providing a touch of springtime to displays even in chilly conditions.
    • Educational use in botany classes and workshops is another role for Crocus chrysanthus, where it can serve as a living example of plant biology, especially bulb development and early flowering in plants.
    • These flowers can be scattered over desserts or frozen into ice cubes as an edible decoration for special events, adding elegance without strong flavors.
    • The aesthetic value of the Snow Crocus has inspired artists and photographers, who use the blooms as subjects to capture the delicate beauty of early spring flora.
    • Some eco-friendly funerals use Crocus chrysanthus corms to be planted as a biodegradable alternative to traditional grave markers, providing a natural reminder of the deceased.
    • In landscape design for wildlife gardens, the Snow Crocus can be planted to provide an early source of nectar for pollinators such as bees emerging from hibernation.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Crocus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Crocus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Youthfulness: Crocus chrysanthus, commonly known as Snow Crocus, often symbolizes youthfulness due to its early bloom at the end of winter, signifying the fresh start and new life of spring.
    • Cheerfulness: The bright colors of the Snow Crocus bring a sense of joy and cheerfulness after the long, dark winter months, reminding us of the happiness that sunshine and warmth bring.
    • Hope: The Snow Crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom when the snow starts to melt, symbolizing hope and the faith that good things are on the horizon.
    • Renewal: With its early spring arrival, the Snow Crocus is often associated with renewal and the cycle of life, representing the end of one phase and the beginning of another.

When soil is dry
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early autumn
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snow crocus requires moderate watering during the growing season; it's important not to overwater as this can lead to bulb rot. Typically, watering once a week with about half a gallon for outdoor plants is sufficient if there is no rain. During the dormant period, after the leaves yellow, reduce watering significantly. For potted snow crocuses, water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, being careful not to let them sit in waterlogged soil.

  • sunLight

    The snow crocus thrives best in full to partial sunlight. It is essential to place them in a spot where they will receive direct sunlight for at least six hours a day. However, if you live in a region with very hot summers, some afternoon shade will help protect the foliage from excessive heat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snow crocuses are cold-hardy and require a period of winter chill to bloom properly. They can survive winter temperatures down to about -20 degrees Fahrenheit but perform best at a temperature range between 35 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season. These plants are ideal for growth in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not necessary for snow crocuses as they are low-maintenance bulbs. Deadheading, or removing faded flowers, can prevent the plants from using energy to produce seeds, but it's not essential. The foliage should be left to die back naturally and not be cut off until it has yellowed, as this period allows the bulb to gather energy for next season's growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snow Crocus prefers a well-drained soil mix with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. An ideal mix can be equal parts of loam, sand, and compost to ensure good drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Snow Crocus bulbs should be lifted and divided every 3 to 5 years to prevent overcrowding and to maintain plant vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snow Crocus is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels and does not have specific humidity requirements, making it adaptable to most climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool temps, and plant in well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil, and protect from excessive wetness.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Crocus chrysanthus, commonly known as Snow Crocus or Golden Crocus, begins its life as a corm, a bulb-like storage organ. In late summer or early fall, it is planted in well-draining soil, where it undergoes a period of dormancy. With the arrival of late winter to early spring, the corm sprouts, sending up narrow, grass-like leaves and buds that rapidly develop into vibrant cup-shaped flowers. After flowering, the plant focuses on photosynthesis and energy storage, replenishing the corm for the next growing season. Post bloom, the foliage dies back, and the corm enters a period of summer dormancy, conserving energy in the dry season. The cycle recommences with the next cool season, as temperatures drop, signaling the corm to initiate growth again.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early autumn

    • Crocus chrysanthus, commonly known as Snow Crocus, is typically propagated by dividing its corms. The best time to do this is in late summer to early fall, after the foliage has died back and the corms have completed their yearly growth cycle. To propagate, carefully dig up the clump of corms and gently separate them, ensuring that each division has at least one growth point. Replant the corms immediately at a depth of about 3 to 4 inches (equivalent to 7.5 to 10 centimeters) and spaced about 3 inches apart (equivalent to 7.5 centimeters). This method is straightforward and is the most popular because it not only helps to proliferate the plant, but also rejuvenates older clumps that may have become too dense over time, which can lead to diminished flowering.