Crocus vernus is a perennial monocotyledon, spring ephemeral, about 10 cm tall, from corms, colonial from corm offsets.
Leaves linear, stiffly erect (until senescence), with a prominent white midrib.
Flowers white to dark purple or white with fine purple stripes, anthers lemon-yellow, stigma red-orange, petal tube, narrow at base, surrounded by a single white bract, petal lobes 6, large, spoon-shaped, ovary below ground, blooms Feb.-March.
Fruit a pale capsule at or below ground level, early summer (Bailey 1976). Plant goes dormant by early summer.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Escaped from cultivation or planted in natural areas.