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It does seem like magic, the emergence of the year's first flowers with seemingly no effort on the gardener's part.

A bonus, a gift ... the coming again of spring.

Moving in a wave northward, following the same sequences, bulbs and perennials come into flower according to the number of degree-days. A phenological calculation. Or by magic.

Hocus Pocus Crocus

What lovely hocus pocus
to have the tiny crocus
come poke us into Spring.
(author unknown)

Crocus are not the first flower of spring but they are perhaps the most dramatic. Gorgeous bright purples, sunshine yellows, pristine whites. They may be solid or striped. Full of orange pollen they present a lovely contract.

Crocus only grow in temperate climates. They need winter. Despite the yearly worry of many, the crocus grass does fine poking out "early" while it is still freezing. Some cultivars produce grass as early as December. Even the flowers do fine if a "late" winter freeze occurs, closing in protectively on itself in extreme cold and reverting back to a bud like shape with the slightest warmth.

photos and source of poem

Seasonal changes in animals

The Pleasures of Crocus

botanical drawing

flower images

Seasonal changes in the amount of sunlight reaching the earth

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