The thrill of discovering our 8 petal crocus

The thrill of discovering a rare or unusual plant thriving in your own garden is truly an experience for any plant enthusiast. It can be a delightful surprise, a testament to the unexpected beauty and wonder that nature holds. 

There are a few ways such a serendipitous encounter might occur:

1. Self-seeding: 

Many plants, especially wildflowers and heirloom varieties, readily reproduce by scattering their seeds in the surrounding area. 

These seeds can travel through wind, water, or even hitch a ride on animals, landing in unexpected corners of your garden. 

Over time, these hidden seeds germinate under the right conditions, giving rise to new and sometimes surprising plants.

2. Sports: 

Occasionally, a genetic mutation can occur within a plant, leading to an offspring with unique characteristics. 

These “sports,” as they are called, can exhibit variations in flower colour, leaf shape, size, or even growth pattern. 

Discovering a sporting plant in your garden is like finding a hidden treasure, a unique and unexpected addition to your horticultural collection.

3. Unexpected Volunteers:  

Sometimes, unwanted “volunteers” from neighboring gardens, carried by birds or wind, can find their way into your own. 

While this might not always be desirable, it does occasionally lead to the pleasant surprise of finding a rare or unusual plant thriving in your space.

Our example of an eight-petal crocus is a fascinating illustration of a “sport.” 

Most crocuses have six petals, so an eight-petal variation is indeed rare and visually captivating. This unique characteristic is likely the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation that occurred during cell division, resulting in the flower developing with two extra petals.

Finding such rarities in your garden can be a source of joy and wonder. 

It reminds us of the unpredictable beauty of nature and the endless possibilities that lie within the plant kingdom. 

So, the next time you explore your garden, keep an eye out for the unexpected, for you might just discover a hidden gem waiting to be appreciated.

Over the last four years we have been watching this crocus go from strength to strength, now a great clump of a dozen strong crocus ,flowering stronger every year…