Crocuses: A Complete Guide to the Genus

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Timber Press, 2010 - Gardening - 216 pages
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Winsome, charming, and brilliant are just three of the adjectives that crocuses typically elicit from grateful, color-starved gardeners. Indeed, few flowers can rival crocuses for the cheer they bring to the barren, late-winter garden and for the affection in which they are held by millions of gardeners. But though they're viewed as an icon of early spring, crocuses aren't just one-season wonders: there are also dozens of striking autumn-blooming species that appear just when they're most needed, as summer's flowers wind down. And because many species originate in the Mediterranean basin, they're ideal for gardens in which summer irrigation has been reduced or eliminated.

In this comprehensive, up-to-date volume, bulb expert Jnis Ruksns surveys all the known species in this remarkable genus, including those that have been discovered since the appearance of Brian Mathew's 1982 monograph. A seasoned plant explorer, Ruksns has observed many species in the wild, and so is able to offer valuable insights into how they may best be grown. He also discusses their use in the garden, their botanical characteristics, and classification--all in nonspecialist language so that even readers without a botanical background can profit by his knowledge and broad experience.

Illustrated with 300 stunning photographs, this book will be indispensable for all those with a serious interest in crocuses, from collectors and bulb enthusiasts to nursery professionals and garden designers.


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Crocuses in My Garden
Species of Crocuses
Lists of Crocuses by Growing Conditions in Cultivation
Selected Bibliography
Conversion Tables

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About the author (2010)

Janis Ruksans is acknowledged worldwide as an expert on hardy bulbs, and has spent a lifetime collecting and observing them in their native habitats. He is also a nurseryman who grows and propagates rare and unusual bulbs. For his discovery of new species, introduction of same into cultivation, and his successes in plant breeding, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in biology by the Latvian Academy of Sciences in 2004. Ruksans worked at the Latvian National Botanical Garden and was the editor-in-chief of a horticultural magazine for nearly two decades. He is the author of six books about growing bulbs, including Buried Treasures: Finding and Growing the World's Choicest Bulbs.

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