Crocus pulchellus

(Crocus pulchellus)
It forms large colonies on Mt. Paggaio.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

Species of the Balkan Peninsula and Anatolia, found in Northern Greece, Thessaly, Thassos, Samothrace and Chios. In Paggaio, it is found mainly at altitudes between 500 and 1,650 (-1,700) m asl., in glades, sparse shrublands, sunny road sides, thin oak and pine forests.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

It forms large colonies on Mt. Paggaio. A small, autumn geophyte, a plant whose aboveground part dies during the unfavorable season and its survival organs are in the form of a small shoot and a corm, protected under the soil surface. Its corm is being split at its base into horizontal rings. Its leaves, in groups of 3-4, appear after flowering. Flowers cyan to cyan violet, with slightly visible veins, perianth neck with intense yellow color, yellow warp threads, densely hairy. White anthers. Stigma spotted yellow to deep orange, protrudes several times from the stamens, divided into several parts (multifaceted). It flowers in autumn (September-November). The choice of the species name is worth-mentioning. Pulchellus in Latin means handsome, well-formed, one who has a beautiful form, that is, the well-groomed. Indeed, the adjective is accurate. Its properties are the same as the well-known cultivated saffron (C. sativus). It is used as a spice, dye and perfume ingredient, since ancient times. Its most important and popular use is as a healing herb to strengthen the body’s antioxidant defenses. The extracts or tinctures of dry plant material are used for therapeutic reasons and are attributed antispasmodic, stimulant, sedative (especially gum), digestive, expectorant and emmenagogue properties. The ancient Greeks used it as a perfume in baths, but also as an aphrodisiac. The very small size of the flower spots, compared to the cultivated crocus, as well as the rest of the wild crocus, makes its collection counterproductive.

Due to its relatively wide distribution on Mount Paggaio, no particular threats and pressures were observed or reported, which could lead to a significant reduction in its population

Conservation status

Conservation state

It is not subjected to any national or international conservation status.