Crocus chrysanthus 'Cream Beauty'
Welcome, wild harbinger of spring!
To this small nook of earth;
Feeling & fancy fondly cling
Round thoughts which owe their birth
To thee, & to the humble spot
Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.
- Bernard Barton (1784 -1849),
"To a Crocus"
'Cream Beauty ' was introduced to gardening in 1943 by Gerald H. Hageman of the International Flower Bulb Center, The Netherlands.
It is a smaller-than-average, rather round-petalled cultivar of Crocus chrystanthus with extremely pale creamy yellow blossoms & orange stigma. It is "bunch flowering" in that more than one flower arises from a single corm, & a handful of corms can look surprisingly flowery right from the first year. It will naturalise & increase in number for years to come.
It is a commonly offered bulb, but of a very uncommon color for crocuses generally. It has been aptly described as the color of freshly churned butter, with a heart the color of orange peals.
It pops up here & there along a lengthy drift of mixed crocuses that were originally planted in the lawn in an area that was only turf before we bought the house. But we've planted shrubs & perennials all along that area, considerably disrupting the established crocuses, which came back every year even after turning the whole area into a major garden.
'Cream Beauty' is in full bloom mid-February through mid-March, being one of the tougher blooms on any crocus cultivar we have. It is one of the least floppy crocuses with a fairly strong flower-stem, though on rainy overcase days it may lay down a bit. Most C. chrystanthus varieties are hardy & naturalize well, with 'Cream Beauty' especially long-lived & persistant.
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