This is a rare species from the Caspian Forests of Guilan province in northern Iran (and adjacent Azerbaijan) whence it was introduced by the discoverer, Professor Per Wendelbo of Gothenburg in 1973. Most, if not all, of the plants in cultivation are traceable to this introduction.
Crocus gilanicus has starry, medium-sized, ghostly white flowers. These have the subtlest hint of violet at the petal tips which are stained a little deeper.
The petals are lightly veined in hair-streaks of violet. With age the flowers often take on a faint violet hint.
The centre of the flower is a light sulphur-yellow boss of anthers and styles.
Flowering can be expected early in Autumn. The timing means that this is best ordered early.
The corms have a very thin tunic and this is an indication that the species is one of damper habitats, but if looking for cultivation clues in this do bear in mind that this equates to a damper habitat in a low-rainfall area. We suggest a well-drained, loam-based soil with a cool, damp summer rest. It thrives under glass, though it is fully cold hardy here.
first offered 2012