Tuscan Crocus Crocus etruscus

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


The Crocus etruscus, commonly known as Tuscan crocus, is known for its ornamental value, especially during the early spring when it typically blooms. The plant flaunts cup-shaped flowers, which come in an enchanting shade of violet or lavender with deep purple veining. Inside the flowers, bright orange stigmas contrast sharply against the violet petals. A closer look at the petals reveals a silvery or white streak running down the middle of each, adding to its aesthetic charm. The leaves of the Tuscan crocus are slender and grass-like, with a dark green hue and a distinctive silvery stripe down the center, mirroring the detail on the petals. The foliage forms a delicate tuft at the base of the plant, which cradles the flowers elegantly as they emerge. The overall appearance of the Tuscan crocus is one of dainty beauty, boasting both colorful blossoms and graceful foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Tuscan Crocus, Etruscan Crocus

    • Common names

      Crocus etruscus

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Crocus etruscus, also known as Tuscan crocus, is not commonly cited as a poisonous plant to humans. Therefore, there is limited information on the toxicity and symptoms of poisoning from this specific species. However, it is worth noting that certain species within the genus Crocus, like the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), are highly toxic due to the presence of colchicine. Although not confirmed for Crocus etruscus specifically, ingesting parts of plants that contain colchicine can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress, renal failure, respiratory problems, and could be potentially fatal. Caution is advised when handling plants with unknown toxicity. If ingestion occurs, medical attention should be sought immediately.

    • To pets

      Crocus etruscus, known as Tuscan crocus, does not have a well-documented profile regarding its toxicity to pets. However, similar caution as with humans should be taken as other members of the genus, particularly the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), are known to have a level of toxicity due to compounds such as colchicine. If Tuscan crocus contains similar compounds, ingestion could potentially lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and more severe reactions like organ failure or death in pets. Therefore, until the toxicity level of Crocus etruscus is better understood, it is best to prevent pets from ingesting any part of the plant. If a pet does consume any part of the plant, contact a veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.1-0.2 feet (3-6 cm)

    • Spread

      0.1-0.2 feet (3-6 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Crocus etruscus, commonly known as Tuscan crocus, is prized for its aesthetically pleasing purple or violet flowers, adding beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Early Spring Blooming: Tuscan crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, often emerging when snow is still on the ground, signaling the end of winter.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Low Maintenance: Tuscan crocus is easy to grow and requires minimal care, making it suitable for novice gardeners and low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, these bulbs are drought-tolerant, requiring little water outside of natural rainfall.
    • Lawn Beautification: They can naturalize in grass, creating a 'wild' garden look as they multiply and spread over the years.
    • Compact Size: Their small size makes them ideal for planting in rock gardens, borders, and containers where space is limited.
    • Cultural Symbolism: Crocus flowers are often associated with cheerfulness and joy, and are used in cultural festivals such as Saffron Day in Italy.

  • 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 etruscus can be used for educational purposes in botanical studies to help students learn about plant biology and the growth cycle of crocuses.
    • This plant's vibrant blooms can serve as a natural dye source for fabrics, providing a gentle hue to textiles.
    • In art, Crocus etruscus can be pressed and included in plant-based artworks and crafts for its aesthetic appeal.
    • Gardeners may use Crocus etruscus as a natural indicator of spring's arrival, as it is an early bloomer signaling the end of winter.
    • Photographers and nature enthusiasts often utilize the Crocus etruscus as a subject for capturing the beauty of early spring flora.
    • Culinary artists might use the petals of Crocus etruscus to decorate food, adding a splash of color to salads and desserts.
    • The bulbs of Crocus etruscus can be exchanged among gardening enthusiasts as a token or gift symbolizing the anticipation of spring.
    • Beekeepers may value Crocus etruscus in their gardens as the plant provides an early source of nectar for bees when not many other flowers are in bloom.
    • Landscape designers can use Crocus etruscus to create a 'naturalized' look in gardens, as they can give the appearance of atural carpeting of color.
    • Conservationists may cultivate Crocus etruscus as part of efforts to preserve native flora or to reintroduce the species into areas where it has become rare.

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

    • Spring Awakening: Crocuses are often one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, signifying the end of winter and the awakening of nature.
    • Rebirth: Their early appearance represents rebirth and new beginnings, and is often associated with Easter.
    • Youthful Gladness: Due to their bright and playful colors, they symbolize joy and glee commonly related to youth.
    • Purity: As they push through the snow, crocuses are also associated with purity and the triumph of good over evil.

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

    The Tuscan Crocus should be watered sparingly, as it is susceptible to overwatering which can lead to bulb rot. Generally, water only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, which may equate to approximately once a week, depending on climate conditions. During their dormancy period in summer, watering should be reduced significantly. When watering, apply enough water to moisten the soil, which might be around 16-24 ounces for a small pot, but ensure that any excess water is able to drain away efficiently to prevent soggy soil.

  • sunLight

    Tuscan Crocus thrives in full sun to partial shade. The best spot for this plant is a location where it can receive at least 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily, while being protected from the harsh, hot afternoon sun which could potentially scorch the leaves. A spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade would be ideal for the Tuscan Crocus.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Tuscan Crocus prefers cooler temperatures overall, thriving in a range from 35 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with 50 degrees being ideal for its growth. It can survive light frosts, but extreme cold below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or heat above 75 degrees Fahrenheit can be harmful to the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Tuscan Crocus is generally not required, however, after flowering, it's recommended to cut back the spent flowers to direct energy back into the bulb. Leave the foliage in place until it turns yellow and dies back naturally, usually this happens in late spring or early summer. Removing the foliage too early can weaken the bulb.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Tuscan Crocus prefers well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH of around 7.0. A mix of loam, sand, and compost is suitable for proper drainage and fertility. Add in perlite or grit for enhanced drainage which is crucial as they're prone to rot in waterlogged conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Tuscan Crocus bulbs should be repotted every three to four years or when the clusters become overcrowded. The best time to repot is in the fall after the foliage has died back.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Tuscan Crocus does not require high humidity levels; average room humidity is typically sufficient. As a crocus native to woodlands, it can tolerate the drier conditions found in most homes.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Tuscan Crocus in bright, indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Tuscan Crocus in fall in well-draining soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Tuscan Crocus (Crocus etruscus) life cycle begins with seed germination, which typically occurs in autumn when temperatures start to cool and moisture levels increase. The germinated seeds develop into corms, which are storage organs that serve as the base for the plant's growth. Over winter, the corms lie dormant underground until the conditions are right for growth. In early spring, the corms sprout, producing long, narrow leaves, and delicate flowers that can vary in color, often showing shades of purple or lilac. After flowering, the plant undergoes a period of photosynthesis to replenish the corm's energy reserves. By late spring or early summer, the foliage dies back, and the plant enters a period of dormancy until the cycle restarts in the autumn.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating the Crocus etruscus, commonly known as the Tuscan Crocus, is through corm division. This perennial bulbous plant usually blooms in spring and the best time for division and planting is in late summer to early fall, after the foliage has died back. To propagate, carefully dig up the corms from the soil and gently separate any smaller corms that have formed around the base of the parent corm; these are known as cormels. Make sure each corm has a piece of the base and some roots attached. Replant the corms right away at a depth of about 3 to 4 inches (about 7.5 to 10 centimeters), placing them in well-drained soil with access to full or partial sunlight. Water them thoroughly after planting to help establish the corms. This straightforward method enables the Tuscan Crocus to multiply and maintain the genetic characteristics of the parent plant.