This group of delightful Mediterranean natives includes many species. They are sometimes called autumn crocus but are not true crocuses. Shining, brown-skinned, thick-scaled corms send up clusters of long-tubed; flaring; lavender-pink, rose-purple, or white flowers to 4 inches across in late summer or early autumn, whether corms are sitting in a dish on a windowsill or planted in soil. When corms are planted out, broad leaves 612 inches long emerge in spring, last for a few months, and then die long before flower cluster rises from ground. Corms are available during a brief dormant period in the summer. Common selections include 'The Giant', single lavender, and 'Waterlily', double violet. Resists rodents and deer.
Best planted where they need not be disturbed more often than every 3 years or so. Plant corms 3 inches deep and 68 inches apart. Cut back on watering during dormancy, but don't let the soil dry out. To plant in bowls, set upright on 12 inches of pebbles or in special fiber sold for this purpose, and fill with water to the base of the corms.