Zone: 3 to 7
Soil: Sand to loam
Light: Full sun
Bloom colour: Lavender to purple
Bloom period:Middle of spring
Height: 12 inches
Moisture: Dry to medium
Notes: If you have dry sandy soil, there is no need to go to a box store to buy bulbs because Prairie Crocus is the perfect spring flower. It is native to the central states of the USA and Canada including Ontario. It is found in prairies and meadows.
Prairie crocus will be one of the first plants to flower in the garden. They have hairy leaves that presumably provide some protection from the cold. Considering the overall size of the plant, the flowerheads are quite large. Each flowerhead has purple petals with yellow centres. They are stunning and they support early season bees. The plant continues to produce flowers over the course of several weeks, after which, interesting seed heads will develop.
Unlike commercial crocuses that die back by summer, Prairie crocuses continue to remain active throughout the summer and most of the foliage actually grows after flowering. Prairie crocuses also stay in flower for much longer. Prairie crocus can be planted at the front of the border or interplanted with taller plants that emerge later on such as yellow coneflower.
This plant can easily be grown from seed and the first flowers may appear at the end of the second season. By the third spring, the plant will flower fully. If you have a well drained soil, then consider planting Prairie Crocus as it will surely become one of your favourites.