tommy crocus

Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’ (tommy crocus), native to hillsides in Hungary and Yugoslavia, was named for the Italian mayor of Trieste, Muzio Spirito de Tommasini (1794-1879), an accomplished botanist who during his tenure as mayor erected a natural history museum and encouraged botanical study.

Plants in the Crocus genus are not true bulbs, but are corms. Corms have the same type of outer covering and basal plate as bulbs have, but the inside of corms is solid where bulbs grow in layers. Bulbs and corms require similar care and spring blooming bulbs and corms are planted in fall. There are more than 90 different Crocus species belonging to the Iridaceae (iris) family.

In Lurie Garden you can find these harbingers of spring in the Light Plate where the corms are planted among the dormant salvia, evoking the coming summer display of the Salvia River’s purple hues.

Botanical Name
Crocus tommasinianus ‘Ruby Giant’
Common Name Tommy crocus
Family Iridaceae
USDA Zone 3 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest Spring
Height and Spread
3-6in x 3-6in (7-15cm x 7-15cm)
Flower Color Deep Purple
Attracts Wildlife Pollinators
Additional Information Horticultural origin
Location in Lurie Garden Northeast Light Plate