I tried this year to grow crocuses indoors from bulbs (sorry 'corms') and found it very frustrating! I didn't get many successfully flowering. I grabbed the opportunity with those that did flower though to take some photos. Their crepe-papery flowers are beautiful with their delicate striped-ness. They are even beautiful when they are slightly past their best and are just starting to wilt. I enjoyed being able to see the flowers go through the whole process right on my windowsill.
I have to thank Wikipedia for the following information - but it is really interesting. The name 'crocus' comes from the Greek for saffron. Saffron is actually the stigmas of crocuses. Saffron was first harvested from crocuses in the Mediterranean as early as the Bronze Age. In addition to cookery it's been used historically in medicines and a number of other applications. Saffron-based pigments have been found in 50,000-year-old paintings in northwest Iran. Saffron threads have also been woven into textiles ritually offered to divinities, as well as being used in dyes, perfumes and body washes.
Crocuses first came to the Netherlands in the 1560s from Constantinople - brought by the Holy Roman Emperor's ambassador. This is where new garden varieties were developed by 1620.
Saffron piracy was apparently rife at one point and it even sparked a 'saffron war' when a shipment was taken. However I like crocuses for their delicate beauty and the early colour they bring.
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