Crocus has long been a symbol of youthfulness and cheerfulness.

The flower was used by ancient Greeks to ward off the fumes of liquor by weaving the crocus flower into wreaths for the head.

  • In Classical mythology, Crocus (Κρόκος) was a mortal youth who, because he was unhappy with his love affair with the nymph Smilax (Σμίλακος), was turned by the gods into a plant bearing his name, the crocus (saffron). Smilax is believed to have been given a similar fate and transformed into bindweed.

  • In another variation of the myth, Crocus was said to be a companion of Hermes and was accidentally killed by the god in a game of discus. Hermes was so distraught at this that he and Chloris transformed Crocus' body into a flower. The myth is similar to that of Apollo and Hyacinthus, and may indeed be a variation thereof.

Sources claim the crocus earned it name from the Greek word for thread after the golden fiber used to make saffron.

Image by Aaron Burden