A cormous perennial herb, well-naturalised in a wide variety of grassy habitats, especially in churchyards and amenity grasslands, and on roadside verges. Lowland.
C. vernus, introduced into cultivation in Britain before 1600, is very common in parks and gardens and was first recorded in the wild in 1763. Some populations may be relics of cultivation as a substitute for saffron, and it is still found in great abundance at a few long-established sites such as at Inkpen (Berks.). It is unevenly recorded.
Native of upland and montane C. & S. Europe.
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