Crocus tommasinianus

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Crocus tommasinianus
Crocus tommasinianus (Xytram).jpg
Scientific classification
C. tommasinianus
Binomial name
Crocus tommasinianus

Crocus tommasinianus, the woodland crocus,[1] early crocus,[2] or Tommasini's crocus, often referred to as 'tommies', were named after the botanist Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), who was Mayor of the Austro-Hungarian city of Trieste (now in Italy). They are native to Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, and the former Yugoslavia.[3] They are often referred to as early or snow crocuses, but these terms are shared with several other species, although C. tommasinianus is amongst the first to bloom.


It is a cormous perennial of the Crocus genus in the Iridaceae family with a lilac flower, and is one of the smaller of the cultivated species. It has slender flowers about 2–4 cm (1–2 in) long, with white perianth tubes, petals (6) pale silvery lilac to reddish purple, while the outer petals may be overlaid with silver and darker tips. A variant, C. tommasinianus f. albus, is white. Its cultivars are used as ornamental plants. Height: 3 in (76 mm)

It naturalises easily earning an official recognition as a weed. It is often planted in large drifts in gardens and parks.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]


Colony of "tommies" (Elfenkrokus) in Planten und Blumen, Hamburg


  • 'Barr's Purple' (amethyst violet)
  • 'Lilac Beauty' (purple)
  • 'Roseus' (Pink Snow)
  • 'Ruby Giant' (purple)
  • 'Whitewell Purple' (silvery reddish purple flowers, pale mauve on the inside)


  1. ^ "Crocus tommasinianus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. ^ "Crocus tommasinianus". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 22 July 2013.

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