Name: Crocus neapolitanus (Ker-Gawl.) Seb. et M.
syn. Crocus vernus
Croatian name: šafran
English name: crocus
There are several species of crocus in Croatia. This one flowers in early Spring.
Crocus is a perennial plant, native to Europe, North Africa and all the way eastwards to China. It can be found in mountain as well as coastal areas growing on meadows, scrub and woodlands.
The plant grows from corm. Leaves are lineal and have central white stripe. Flowers are cup-shaped, usually violet or white. They have six tepals. Typically, flower has three stamens. Flowers remain unopened if there is no sun.
Autumn flowering crocus is often mistaken for Colchicum autumnale, which flowers look pretty much the same. But, if you look closely, you will find that there are no leaves and the flowers are bigger.
Crocus species are today popular in the gardens and have many cultivars.
NB. The spice saffron is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, an autumn/fall-blooming species.