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Crocus sieberi (Sieber’s crocus)

The corms of Sieber's crocus are edible, apparently tasting of hazelnuts, and are eaten raw by mountain shepherds in Greece.
Crocus sieberi flowers

Crocus sieberi subsp. atticus in the Rock Garden at Kew

Species information

Scientific name: 

Crocus sieberi J.Gay

Common name: 

Sieber’s crocus, Cretan crocus, snow crocus

Conservation status: 

Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Rocky slopes and in grass; at altitudes of 1,500 to 2,700 m.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Iridaceae
Genus: Crocus

About this species

The genus (a group of related species) Crocus contains around 80 autumn- or early spring-flowering species.

The French botanist Jacques Gay described Crocus sieberi in 1831, from plants growing on the island of Crete. It is named after Franz Sieber, the Czech naturalist who collected it. Gay was unaware of the mainland form of this species, but C. sieberi is now known to occur in various forms throughout certain parts of southeast Europe.

Synonym: 

Crocus sibiricus, Crocus sibthorpianus, Crocus atticus, Crocus nivalis, Crocus sublimis

Genus: 
Crocus

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