This year's cool crocuses

Que Appelle Valley - Wednesday, May 6, 2009  Images by: Ken Jones

Each year Regina photographer Ken Jones makes a trip out to the Que Appelle Valley the last week of April to find the first little wild flowers of the year, the crocus.

The images on this page were taken one mile west of the junction of highway 99 and 6 at the bottom of the Que Appelle Valley. This is about fifteen miles north of Regina when Ken took these pictures Friday, April 24th.

Each year's crop of these little flowers varies considerable as they rely on some warmth to get their bulbs to begin their cycle of life and this year has been a rather chilly spring. Despite the low temperatures there still was a sparce crop, however when you look at other years you will discover that there were far more and the plants were more robust in other years.

Click on the title below to go back year by year and see what they were like.

Crocus 2008

This year's crocus (2007)

Crocus 2006

Crocus in the Qu' Appelle Valley (2005)
Crocus in the Qu' Appelle Valley (2003)


When you look up the crocus either in Google or in a reference book you will discover that it only grows in the wild in central and southern Europe. That seemed puzzling to me because I was certain that the crocus grows here in Saskatchewan wild and its natural home is here on Canada's Great Central Plains. Not only that, the crocus is the provincial flower of Manitoba.

Well, just like the robin in Canada which really isn't a robin but a version of thrush but called a robin by European settlers, they also consider the first little flower to appear in spring which closely resembles the European crocus to be just that and hence we all refer to the Anemone patens, a member of the Buttercup family as a crocus.

Ken's picture on the left shows the fine hairs on the plant which keep it warm as it emerges just after the snow melts.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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