Yellow crocus Crocus flavus subsp. flavus

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


The plant, commonly known as yellow crocus, is characterized by its vibrant yellow flowers which have a cup-like shape and distinctive, bright appeal that can enliven any spring garden. The flowers typically bloom early in the season, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The petals of the yellow crocus are often slightly curved upwards, forming an elegant and open look, which showcases the contrasting throat and pollen inside. Foliage is slender and grass-like, typically a green to blue-green color, forming a delicate backdrop to the colorful flowers. After blooming, the flowers give way to seed capsules, while the foliage gradually dies back, allowing the plant to retreat into dormancy until the next blooming cycle.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Yellow Crocus, Golden Crocus

    • Common names

      Crocus aureus, Crocus korolkowii subsp. flavus, Crocus flavus var. flavus, Crocus flavus var. aureus.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Yellow crocus (Crocus flavus subsp. flavus) is not typically considered toxic to humans. There is limited information on its toxicity, but as with many plants, it is advisable to avoid ingesting it as a precaution, considering that other members of the Crocus genus, particularly Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), are highly toxic. Ingesting parts of toxic crocus species can result in severe symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even organ failure or life-threatening complications due to substances like colchicine. However, the Yellow crocus itself is not known to cause such severe symptoms, and accidental ingestion might result in mild stomach upset. Still, seek medical attention if ingestion occurs, especially because of the potential confusion with other toxic species.

    • To pets

      Yellow crocus (Crocus flavus subsp. flavus) is not known to be specifically toxic to pets, but pet owners should exercise caution to prevent their animals from ingesting plants. Many plants can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets if ingested, even if they aren't notably toxic. Although the Yellow crocus is not famous for toxicity like its relative, the Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), it is recommended to keep an eye on pets around this plant. If a pet ingests a plant believed to be a Yellow crocus, watch for signs of stomach upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, and consult a veterinarian if any concerns arise. Always err on the side of caution and prevent pets from ingesting unknown plants, as they might be easily confused with other more toxic species.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: The bright yellow flowers of the Crocus flavus, commonly known as Yellow Crocus, provide early spring color to gardens.
    • Pollinator attraction: They attract bees and other pollinators, which are essential for the pollination of many plants.
    • Easy to grow: Yellow Crocus is low maintenance and can thrive in a variety of soil types, making it suitable for many gardeners.
    • Naturalizing: This plant is capable of spreading and naturalizing in an area, creating a carpet of color over time.
    • Drought tolerance: Once established, they are quite drought-resistant, making them suitable for xeriscaping or low-water gardens.
    • Seasonal interest: They are among the first flowers to bloom in spring, often emerging even through snow, signaling the end of winter.

  • 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 flavus, commonly known as Yellow crocus, can be used as a natural dye source. The stigmas and petals contain pigments that can be used to dye fabric and yarn.
    • The corms of the Yellow crocus are sometimes used to deter moles and voles, as these rodents dislike the taste and smell of the bulbs, offering a natural way to protect gardens.
    • Yellow crocus has been used in perfumery to add a fresh, spring-like fragrance to various perfumes and scented products, capturing the essence of early spring.
    • The flowers can be crystallized and used as edible decorations for cakes and desserts, providing a touch of elegance and natural beauty to culinary creations.
    • The petals have been traditionally used to create a natural blush or cheek stain by rubbing them onto the skin, giving a subtle flush of color.
    • In art, the vibrant color of Yellow crocus has been used in botanical illustration and natural dyes for inks, contributing to the palette of natural colorants.
    • Flower arranging enthusiasts use the Yellow crocus in “forced” pot displays, which involves tricking the flowers to bloom indoors during winter for aesthetic and horticultural interest.
    • The plant's linear leaves can be used in small-scale basketry or weaving projects, although this is less common due to their size and fragility.
    • Gardeners might use spent Yellow crocus flowers as a natural indicator of when to plant vegetable seeds, as the bloom time correlates with certain soil temperatures suitable for seed sowing.
    • It serves as an early nectar source for bees and other pollinators, which can be critical for supporting these insects as they emerge in early spring.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Yellow Crocus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Yellow Crocus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Renewal: Crocus flavus, commonly known as Yellow Crocus, often blooms early in spring, thus symbolizing new beginnings and the renewal of nature.
    • Youthful Gladness: The bright yellow hue of the Yellow Crocus represents cheerfulness and youthful joy, invoking a sense of happiness and lightheartedness.
    • Cheerfulness: The vibrant color and early spring appearance of the Yellow Crocus are reminiscent of the sun and convey an uplifting message of optimism and positivity.
    • Hope: As one of the first flowers to emerge after winter, Yellow Crocus signifies hope and the anticipation of better things to come.

Every two weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every year
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Yellow crocus bulbs typically need infrequent but thorough watering. They should be watered deeply to encourage root growth, with approximately 1 inch of water each time. During the active growth period in the fall and spring, they may need weekly watering if the weather is particularly dry. However, once established, yellow crocus is quite drought tolerant and will require less frequent watering, possibly every two to three weeks. It's crucial to reduce watering once the flowers have faded and the leaves begin to yellow, signaling the end of the growth cycle, at which point they may not need additional water at all.

  • sunLight

    The yellow crocus thrives best in full sunlight to partial shade. An ideal spot is an area that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They can be planted under deciduous trees, as they will receive sun before the trees leaf out in the spring, but should be protected from intense afternoon sun in warmer climates.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Yellow crocus favors a temperate climate and typically does well in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. These plants can survive minimum winter temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and can handle maximum summer temperatures up to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for yellow crocus is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically necessary for yellow crocus, as the plant is low-maintenance. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, can be done to keep the plant looking tidy, but it's mostly for aesthetic purposes rather than promoting plant health. After flowering, allow the foliage to die back naturally, as it's important for the plant to store energy for next year's growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Yellow Crocus thrives in well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of equal parts loam, sand, and compost or well-rotted manure is ideal to provide the necessary drainage and nutrients.

  • plantRepotting

    Yellow Crocus bulbs should be replanted every 3-4 years or when they become overcrowded, which is typically noticeable when the blooming declines.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Yellow Crocus prefers moderate ambient humidity but is generally tolerant of the average humidity levels found in outdoor garden settings.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with cool temperatures for Yellow Crocus.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Crocus flavus subsp. flavus, commonly known as Yellow Crocus, begins its life cycle as a bulb, which remains dormant underground during the hot and dry summer months. In autumn, when the soil cools and moisture increases, the bulb breaks its dormancy and roots begin to grow. As temperatures continue to decrease into late winter or early spring, the Yellow Crocus sprouts, pushing a flowering stem through the soil, often while snow is still on the ground. The plant produces a bright yellow, cup-shaped flower that is pollinated by insects attracted to its vivid colors and nectar. After pollination, the flower withers and the plant develops seed capsules, which release seeds once they mature and dry. The leaves of the plant photosynthesize to replenish nutrients in the bulb for the next cycle, before it enters dormancy again at the onset of warm summer weather.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for the Crocus flavus subsp. flavus, commonly known as the Yellow Crocus, is by dividing its corms. Division is usually done in late summer when the plant is dormant, typically around July to August. To propagate by division, the corms are carefully unearthed and the offsets, which are the smaller corms attached to the base of the parent corm, are gently detached. These offsets are then replanted at a depth of approximately 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 centimeters) in well-draining soil with the pointed end facing up. This method is straightforward and helps to spread and maintain the vigor of the crocus clumps over time.