Bryant wrote today’s entry:
Thank you to Drew Avery (Drew Avery@Flickr) for today’s photograph of Crocus tommasinianus. The snow crocus or early crocus is a member of the Iridaceae. Locally, the recent “Pineapple Express” that brought consistent heavy rains and slightly warmer temperatures seems to have stirred the crocuses, and they have been popping up all over Vancouver. This species is among the first to appear, often in the late winter or early spring. Crocus tommasinianus is native to Bulgaria, Hungary and former Yugoslavia, though it is now cultivated widely throughout temperate regions. Crocus tommasinianus was named after the late Muzio G. Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), botanist and elected mayor of Trieste in 1839.
Species of Crocus are of high economic value not only for their prominence in the ornamental bulb trade, but also because of the stigmas of the saffron crocus. For more information on the saffron crocus, see the former BPotD post on Crocus sativus.
For those interested in growing Crocus tommasinianus, it has a reputation of naturalizing fairly quickly through self-seeding and corm offsets. It is a smaller crocus, reaching up to 10cm (4 inches) high during its peak growth years. Flowers are approximately 4cm (1.5in.) across. For more information on cultivating this species, see the Royal Horticultural Society’s page on Crocus tommasinianus (note that it is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner).