The Crocus Carpet
One of Kew’s best loved signs of spring, the crocus carpet creates a spectacular show of white and purple between Victoria Gate and King William’s Temple in March.
In the wild, Crocus vernus begins to flower as the snow melts in the mountains of Europe. It is native to the Mediterranean from the Pyrenees in the west to the Ukraine in the east, and south as far as Sicily and Yugoslavia.
In 1987, Reader’s Digest sponsored the planting of 1.6 million corms of cultivated Dutch crocus for their 50th anniversary. A further 750,000 corms of C. vernus ‘Jeanne d’Arc’ and C. vernus ‘Purpureus grandiflorus’ have been planted since, thanks to their continuing generosity.