Daily Flower Candy: Crocus tomassinianus ‘Roseus’

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Many of us will be familiar with diminutive Crocus tomassinianus, which pops up through lawns and borders in early spring, leaping from the sward like flames from a gas hob. The species seeds itself freely, but is easily trounced by heavy weather. This weekend I’ve been introduced to a more robust pink form, Crocus tomassinianus ‘Roseus’. The flower buds emerge pale and cadaverous from clumps of needle-like leaves. They open a tingling rose-pink, contrasted by saffron-orange stamens and white stems. Delicate petals are rendered translucent by the winter sun, as here at Bosvigo. The effect en masse is sensational. Combine with burgundy-red hellebores or black-leaved Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ for high drama.

Crocus tomassinianus 'Roseus', Bosvigo, Feb 2014