Romulea columnae Iridaceae Sand Crocus

Flowers Seed Pod

Romulea columnae 29kb

Description - A miniature crocus, coming into flower just after the garden ones have died down, and disappearing again soon after Easter. The six pale lilac petals have a darker line down the centre and a yellow patch at the base. Each flower head is no more than 1 cm across, and flowers are only open in full sunlight, and are hard to see if closed. They have a very short stem, so sit just above the ground, but the stem elongates to several cm when in fruit. Each flower is surrounded by a rosette of long, narrow, dark green leaves. Beneath the ground is a small corm, which was eaten by children in the past.

Habitat - In short coastal turf, frequent both on the cliffs and in the west and north on the Commons.

Comments - Only found on 2 sites in England at Dawlish Warren in Devon, and at Polruan in Cornwall. Here it is common in all the islands, as long as you come early enough, and have some sunshine!

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