Imperati's Crocus Crocus imperati

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Imperati's crocus


The Crocus Imperati, commonly known as Early Crocus, boasts a captivating display with its vivid and strikingly beautiful flowers. As a herald of spring, this plant flourishes with cup-shaped blooms that exhibit a wide array of colors ranging from deep purples and lavenders to softer hues of lilac or even white. The interior of the petals often reveals a throat of contrasting color, typically a deeper shade, which adds depth and drama to the flower's appearance. The petals themselves are delicate yet sturdy, narrowing to a refined point and gracefully curving back from the center of the bloom. The flowers emerge from narrow, tube-like structures that push through the soil, often amongst the last vestiges of winter. The foliage is slender and grass-like, with narrow, blade-shaped leaves that can be a bright to mid-green, sometimes displaying a silvery sheen. The leaves often appear slightly folded and may showcase a central pale stripe running their length, providing a textured backdrop to the vibrant blooms. This plant exhibits its natural elegance in the simplicity of its form and the clarity of its colors. The contrast between the softness of the petals and the rigidity of the leaves makes for a splendid display, embodying the vitality and rejuvenation of early spring.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Imperati's Crocus, Early Crocus

    • Common names

      Crocus imperati var. suaveolens, Crocus suaveolens.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant in question, commonly known as the Imperial Crocus, is not commonly recognized as a toxic plant to humans. There is limited information available regarding its toxicity, but most species of crocus are not considered dangerous. However, it’s important to note that confusion sometimes arises between ornamental crocuses and plants of the genus Colchicum, also known as "autumn crocus," which are highly toxic. If any part of a plant believed to be an Imperial Crocus is accidentally ingested, and symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, skin irritation, or more severe symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought.

    • To pets

      The Imperial Crocus, as with human toxicity, is not commonly known to be toxic to pets. However, pet owners should be cautious as other crocus species, particularly the autumn crocus from the genus Colchicum, are highly toxic to pets and can cause severe symptoms such as vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure. If a pet ingests any part of a plant suspected to be an Imperial Crocus and shows signs of distress, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian. It's always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with plants and pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5 inches (1.27 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5 inches (1.27 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental appeal: Crocus imperati adds vibrant color to gardens with its early spring blooms, often appearing when the landscape is still quite barren.
    • Ecosystem support: It provides an early nectar source for pollinators such as bees, who rely on spring-flowering plants after the winter.
    • Low maintenance: Being a hardy perennial, it requires minimal care once established, making it suitable for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought resistance: Once established, the plant typically requires minimal water, which can be beneficial in areas with water restrictions or dry climates.
    • Naturalizing: Crocus imperati has the ability to spread and create natural-looking drifts in the landscape over time without becoming invasive.
    • Flexible planting locations: It can be planted in a range of settings including rock gardens, borders, or lawns and can thrive in full sun to partial shade.
    • Seasonal interest: Its early bloom time helps bridge the gap between winter and the abundance of spring flowers, offering visual interest in the garden.

  • 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

    • Crocus imperati bulbs can be utilized as a natural dye source, producing colors ranging from yellows to earthy greens depending on the mordant used.
    • Extracts from the plant’s petals are sometimes used in the cosmetic industry as a natural coloring agent for makeup and skin care products.
    • In the culinary world, the stigmas of Crocus imperati can be used as a substitute for the more expensive saffron in dishes that require its unique flavor and color properties.
    • The plant is often cultivated for ornamental purposes in gardens and parks, admired for its early blooming and vibrant purplish hues.
    • Floral designers occasionally incorporate Crocus imperati in their arrangements as a sign of spring and rebirth due to its early flowering nature.
    • The plant's petals can be pressed and included in handmade paper for a decorative effect, adding an element of natural beauty to the finished product.
    • Crocus imperati can be used in educational settings such as schools or botanical gardens to teach about plant life cycles and early spring flowering plants.
    • In areas where it is native, the plant might be employed in conservation efforts to maintain the local flora biodiversity and support pollinating insects early in the season.
    • Hobbyist photographers often seek out Crocus imperati as a subject for practicing macro photography, owing to its intricate details and vibrant colors.
    • Eco-friendly burial practices may use Crocus imperati as a biodegradable option to mark grave sites, allowing for a more natural integration with the environment.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Crocus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Crocus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: The crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, symbolizing the hope and optimism that accompanies the end of winter and the arrival of warmer weather.
    • Youthful gladness: Crocuses bring joy and cheerfulness with their bright colors, representing the happiness of youth.
    • Rebirth: Similar to hope, the crocus is a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings because it emerges from the ground as the first sign of life after the cold months.
    • Attachment: As a flower that blooms with fervent anticipation of the full arrival of spring, the crocus is seen to represent strong emotional attachment and commitment.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-3 years
Early autumn
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Imperial Crocus requires moderate watering during its growth phase, generally from fall to spring. The plant should be watered once the top inch of soil begins to dry out, which can vary depending on environmental conditions but typically equates to about once every 1-2 weeks. Each watering should provide enough water to moisten the soil without causing standing water, which could be approximately 16-24 ounces for smaller pots or up to 1-2 gallons for larger garden areas. During the dormant period, after the flowers have faded and the leaves die back, watering should be reduced significantly to prevent bulb rot.

  • sunLight

    The Imperial Crocus thrives best in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant would be an area that receives direct sunlight for at least 6 hours each day. Partially shaded spots that provide a mix of direct sunlight and dappled light are also suitable, as long as the amount of light is adequate to promote flowering. Avoid deep shade, as this will hinder blooming and overall vitality of the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Imperial Crocuses are cold-hardy plants, tolerant of temperatures down to around 15°F, but they perform best when the atmosphere is within the range of 35-65°F. The bulbs require a period of cold dormancy to trigger blooming, which should be a minimum of 12-14 weeks of near-freezing temperatures. The maximum temperature should not exceed 75°F for prolonged periods to prevent stress on the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is generally not necessary for the Imperial Crocus, as they are low-maintenance plants. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can improve the appearance of the plant but does not typically affect the following year's blooms. The foliage should be left intact until it has died back naturally, which allows the plant to collect energy for the next growing season. The best time for any removal of dead plant material is in the late spring, once the leaves have yellowed and withered.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Imperati Crocus requires well-drained soil with a mix of loam, sand, and compost to mimic its natural habitat. A slightly alkaline to neutral pH of around 6.5 to 7.5 is ideal for this plant to thrive.

  • plantRepotting

    Imperati Crocus corms should be lifted and divided every 3 to 4 years to prevent overcrowding and to maintain the health of the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Imperati Crocus prefers a moderate humidity level but is quite adaptable and can tolerate the dry conditions found in most homes.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep at cool room temperature.

    • Outdoor

      Plant corms in well-draining soil in a sunny spot.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Crocus imperati, commonly known as Imperati's Crocus, begins with seed germination, typically in the fall, where temperatures stimulate the dormant seeds to grow roots and shoots. Following germination, the plant develops corms, which are storage organs that help it survive adverse conditions, especially during the winter. In spring, the plant enters its flowering phase, blooming with purple, lilac, or white flowers that eventually give way to seed pods after pollination. As the flowers fade, the foliage photosynthesizes to replenish the corm for the next season. During the summer, the leaves die back and the plant enters a period of dormancy, conserving energy within the corm. The cycle repeats when temperatures cool, and the Crocus imperati emerges once again from dormancy to begin a new growth cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early autumn

    • Crocus imperati, commonly known as the Imperati's crocus, is typically propagated through division. The best time to propagate this plant is after the foliage has died back or in the autumn when the corms are dormant. To propagate by division, carefully unearth the corms and gently separate them, making sure each division has at least one growth point. Replant the corms with the pointed ends up, setting them about 3 to 4 inches (approximately 7.5 to 10 cm) deep and spaced approximately 2 to 3 inches (about 5 to 7.5 cm) apart in well-draining soil. This method allows the clones of the parent plant to establish and bloom in the following growing season.