Open the Advanced Search

Veined Autumn Crocus

Crocus speciosus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Iridaceae (Iris)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
12 centimetres tall
Grassland, roadsides.

Blue, 6 petals
Light blue flower with darker veins. The throat of the flowers are white. The flowers appear before the leaves. The styles of the flower are orange. Similar to Autumn Crocus (Crocus nudiflorus) but the petal veins are a darker shade of purple.
The fruit is a capsule.
Narrow, grass-like leaves. Perennial.
Other Names:
Bieberstein's Crocus, Giant Crocus, Large Autumn Crocus, Spring Crocus.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Crocus speciosus, also known as spring crocus or giant crocus, is a species of flowering plant in the iris family (Iridaceae). It is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated as a garden plant. The plant is known for its large, purple flowers that bloom in the early spring months, often appearing before the leaves emerge. It is a bulbous plant, meaning it has a bulb-like structure that stores food and nutrients. Crocus speciosus is a small plant that reaches a height of about 10 cm. It has slender, grass-like leaves and large, showy flowers that are often used in cut flower arrangements. The plant is known for its attractive flowers and is often grown in gardens for its early spring bloom.


Veined Autumn Crocus, Crocus speciosus, is a beautiful and unique species of crocus that is native to the Balkans and the western part of Turkey. This autumn-blooming crocus is a popular choice for gardeners and nature enthusiasts who appreciate its unique and attractive appearance.

One of the defining features of the Veined Autumn Crocus is its striking purple-blue petals that are veined with white. The flowers have a diameter of about 3 cm and they bloom in late autumn, between October and November. The blooming period of the Veined Autumn Crocus is unique because most other species of crocus bloom in the spring. This makes the Veined Autumn Crocus a great addition to gardens and parks where visitors can admire its beauty even when other flowers have long since faded.

The Veined Autumn Crocus is a relatively hardy plant that can grow in a variety of soils, from heavy clay to well-drained sand. However, it prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. It can also tolerate partial shade, but for best results, it should be planted in an area that gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight per day. The plant has a natural tendency to form large clumps, which makes it a great choice for naturalizing an area or for use as a ground cover.

When planting Veined Autumn Crocus, it is important to plant the bulbs at a depth of about 5-7 cm, and to space them about 10 cm apart. After planting, the bulbs will require no further attention until they start to bloom. At that time, they should be gently lifted, divided and replanted to help keep the clumps healthy and vigorous.

In addition to its beauty, the Veined Autumn Crocus is also an important source of nectar for late-season pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This makes it an important plant for helping to support declining pollinator populations and for maintaining biodiversity in the landscape.

The Veined Autumn Crocus is a stunning plant that is perfect for adding a touch of beauty and interest to any garden or park. With its striking purple-blue and white-veined petals, this autumn-blooming crocus is sure to turn heads and leave a lasting impression.

The Veined Autumn Crocus is also a popular choice for cut flower arrangements. Its long-lasting flowers can be cut and brought indoors to enjoy as a fresh bouquet or used in dried flower arrangements. The delicate beauty of the flowers is sure to add a touch of sophistication to any room.

One important thing to note is that, like all species of crocus, the Veined Autumn Crocus is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. As a result, it is important to be mindful of its placement in the garden, especially if you have pets that are prone to digging or eating plants.

In terms of care, the Veined Autumn Crocus is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention once established. It is important to water the bulbs immediately after planting and to water regularly during the growing season. The bulbs should be mulched in the fall to help protect them from the winter cold and to help conserve moisture. In the spring, the dead foliage should be removed to make room for new growth.

One great thing about the Veined Autumn Crocus is that it is easy to propagate. The bulbs can be divided and replanted every 3-5 years to maintain their vigor and to keep the clumps from becoming overcrowded. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for.

Another benefit of the Veined Autumn Crocus is that it is deer and squirrel resistant. While many garden plants are often damaged or destroyed by these common garden pests, the Veined Autumn Crocus is left untouched, allowing it to thrive and add beauty to the landscape without the need for protective measures.

It's also worth mentioning that the Veined Autumn Crocus is a great option for rock gardens, raised beds, and mixed borders. Its small size and delicate flowers make it a perfect choice for adding interest and texture to these types of gardens. It can also be grown in containers, making it a great option for those who have limited garden space.

Finally, the Veined Autumn Crocus is a plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine. In the past, the bulbs of the crocus were used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, coughs, and fevers. While its medicinal properties are no longer widely used today, it is still a fascinating plant with a rich history and cultural significance.

In conclusion, the Veined Autumn Crocus is a versatile and beautiful plant that is well worth considering for any garden. Whether you are looking to add color and interest to your garden in the autumn months, support pollinators, or simply enjoy the beauty of this unique species of crocus, the Veined Autumn Crocus is an excellent choice.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map