Crocus was unhappy with his love affair with the nymph Smilax, and he was turned by the gods into a plant bearing his name, the crocus (saffron). Smilax is believed to have been given a similar fate and transformed into bindweed.
In another variation of the myth, Crocus was said to be a companion of Hermes and was accidentally killed by the god in a game of discus when he unexpectedly stood up. As the unfortunate youth's blood dripped on the soil, the saffron flower came to be. The myth is similar to that of Apollo and Hyacinthus, and may indeed be a variation thereof.
- Hyacinthus, another youth killed in a discus accident and turned into a flower
- Smilax, Crocus' lover turned into a shrub
- William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Crocus
- Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.283
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca 12.86
- "Kingdom Of Flora". arthive.com. Retrieved 2021-08-17.
- Galenus, De Compositione Medicamentorum Secundum Locos 9.4
- Servius on Virgil's Georgics 4.182
- Miller & Strauss Clay 2019, p. 133.
- In: Nonnos, Dionysiaca. With an English translation by W. H. D. Rouse. Volume I, books I - XV. Cambridge - Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1940, p. 404
- Grimal, Pierre. A Concise Dictionary of Classical mythology. Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990. - p.109
- Miller, John F.; Strauss Clay, Jenny (2019). Tracking Hermes, Pursuing Mercury. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-877734-2.
- Nonnus of Panopolis, Dionysiaca translated by William Henry Denham Rouse (1863-1950), from the Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1940. Online version at the Topos Text Project.
- Nonnus of Panopolis, Dionysiaca. 3 Vols. W.H.D. Rouse. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1940-1942. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses translated by Brookes More (1859-1942). Boston, Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses. Hugo Magnus. Gotha (Germany). Friedr. Andr. Perthes. 1892. Latin text available at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873). Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Band XI, Halbband 22, Komogrammateus-Kynegoi (1922) - ss. 1972-1973