Emperor Crocus Crocus imperati subsp. suaveolens 'De Jager'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Imperati's crocus 'De Jager'


The plant known as Crocus imperati subsp. 'De Jager' is a striking and beautiful early spring blooming flower. It typically showcases a set of slender, grass-like leaves which are often a vibrant green, providing a fresh look after the cold winter months. The blooms of this plant are the most significant feature, with each individual flower consisting of six delicate, petal-like segments. These petals can span a spectrum of colors, though commonly they boast rich shades of purple, lavenders, and sometimes hues of yellow or white, often with contrasting colored throats or with fine veining within the petals, lending a unique and intricate appearance to each flower. The blooms have a cup-shaped silhouette when open, often revealing bright orange-yellow stamens that stand out in the center, adding to their visual allure. This plant's flowers exude a delightful fragrance, which is sweet and pleasant, contributing to its charm and making it a favorite for gardens where owners wish to add both color and scent to their early spring landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Imperati's Crocus, Sweet-Smelling Crocus.

    • Common names

      Crocus suaveolens, Crocus suaveolens var. imperati, Crocus imperati.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Crocus may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested by humans. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is advisable to avoid ingesting any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      The Crocus plant is toxic to pets, particularly dogs and cats. If a pet ingests any part of a Crocus, they may experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and possibly more severe effects like organ damage or seizures. It is important to keep pets away from this plant to avoid any potential poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.1 feet (3 cm)

    • Spread

      0.1 feet (3 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant colors to gardens, especially with its striking purple flowers that can enhance the beauty of any landscape.
    • Pollinator Attraction: Attracts bees and butterflies, which are important pollinators for many plants and essential for a healthy ecosystem.
    • Early Bloomer: One of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, providing an early source of nectar for pollinators and an early sign of the forthcoming season.
    • Low Maintenance: Typically requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, it has a level of drought resistance that makes it suitable for climate-conscious gardening and xeriscaping.
    • Perennial Growth: As a perennial, it re-emerges each year, providing long-term value and reducing the need for annual replanting.
    • Naturalizing: It has the ability to self-seed and spread over time, filling in garden spaces and creating natural drifts of color.
    • Compact Size: Due to its small size, it can be planted in a variety of locations, including borders, rock gardens, and containers.
    • Deer Resistant: Less attractive to deer, which can help it survive and thrive in areas where deer browsing is a problem.

  • 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 can be used as a starch source in small-scale cottage industries, providing a gluten-free alternative for baking and cooking.
    • Crocus petals, due to their vibrant colors, can be used as a natural dye for textiles, giving fabrics a soft, yellow to golden hue.
    • The plant can serve as an educational tool in schools and universities for botany students to study corm development and plant reproductive systems.
    • In landscape design, Crocus can be used effectively for naturalizing in grass, creating a colorful, meadow-like appearance in early spring.
    • The flowers can be crystallized and used as edible decorations for desserts and culinary presentations, adding both flavor and aesthetics.
    • Crocus flowers can be a source of inspiration for artists and photographers, being a subject of still life paintings or nature photography.
    • This plant can play a role in ecotourism, where visitors come to particular regions to witness fields of Crocus in bloom, akin to tulip viewing in the Netherlands.
    • Gardeners might use Crocus as a natural form of pest control, as its presence can deter certain rodents that may not favor the taste or scent of its corms.
    • The flowering time of Crocus could serve as a phenological indicator, helping scientists track changes in climate patterns over time.
    • In perfumery, although not as common, the scent of Crocus flowers can be captured and used to create unique, floral fragrance notes.

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

    • Renewal: Crocuses are among the first flowers to bloom in spring, symbolizing new beginnings and the end of winter.
    • Optimism: Their bright colors can represent cheerfulness and hope for the future.
    • Youthfulness: Crocuses embody the joy and innocence of youth with their delicate and fresh appearance.
    • Purity: The clean, simple shape of the crocus often signifies purity and chastity.
    • Attachment: Because crocuses bloom so faithfully each year, they can symbolize attachment and affection between individuals.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Italian Crocus should be watered moderately during its growing season; aim to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Typically, watering once a week with approximately half a gallon of water can be sufficient, but this can vary based on the plant's environment and the climate conditions. During the dormant period, after the foliage has died back, reduce watering significantly to prevent bulb rot. Always adjust watering frequency based on rainfall and check the soil moisture to determine when watering is needed.

  • sunLight

    Italian Crocus thrives best in full sun to partial shade. A spot that receives direct sunlight for at least six hours a day is ideal, as these conditions promote abundant and vigorous blooms. If planted outdoors, an east or west-facing garden bed can provide the optimal balance of sun and light shade throughout the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Italian Crocus is best suited to cooler climates, thriving in a temperature range between 35°F and 70°F. It can survive short periods of frost, with a minimum survival temperature near 20°F. For optimal growth and blooming, maintaining a temperature around the middle of this range is preferable, particularly in spring.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning of Italian Crocus is generally not required as they are low-maintenance. However, after blooming, you should remove spent flowers to prevent seed formation. You may also clean up any dead foliage once it has yellowed and withered, typically after the growing season. This can be done annually, usually during late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Imperati Crocus (Crocus imperati 'De Jager') thrives in well-drained, sandy or gritty soil enriched with organic matter, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Imperati Crocus, commonly known as Crocus imperati 'De Jager', typically does not need frequent repotting and can be repotted every 3 to 4 years or as clumps become overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Imperati Crocus, known as Crocus imperati 'De Jager', prefers moderate humidity levels but is tolerant of the varying conditions typical of outdoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, cool temperature, and plant in gritty mix.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil; full sun to part shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Crocus imperati subsp. suaveolens 'De Jager', commonly known as Imperati Crocus, begins its life cycle as a corm, which is a type of storage organ that remains dormant underground during unfavorable seasons. In early spring, the corm sprouts and produces narrow, grass-like leaves along with one to several fragrant, purple or lilac flowers, with each flower emerging from a single corm. After flowering, which lasts for a few weeks, the plant enters the pollination phase wherein bees and other insects help transfer pollen between flowers to enable seed formation. Following successful pollination, the flower fades and the plant develops seed capsules containing numerous seeds. As the weather warms, the above-ground plant parts die back and the corm enters a period of dormancy throughout the summer, conserving energy for the next growth cycle. In the autumn, the corm may produce new daughter corms that will grow into genetically identical plants—thus slowly increasing the colony size—or the plant relies on seed dispersal for propagation.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: Crocus imperati subsp. suaveolens 'De Jager', commonly known as De Jager Crocus, is typically propagated by dividing its corms. This process should be carried out after the foliage has died back, usually in late summer or early autumn. Gardeners will dig up the clumps of corms and gently separate them by hand, taking care not to damage the corms. Each corm must have a portion of the basal plate to ensure successful propagation. After division, the corms are immediately replanted at a depth of about 3 to 4 inches (approximately 7.5 to 10 centimeters) and spaced about 3 inches apart to allow for adequate room for growth. This method encourages a healthy increase in plants, with new blooms typically appearing the following spring.