This inspired and very beautiful hybrid was made in cultivation by German breeder Dirk Schnabel. It is an artificial cross between the fragrant, yellow-flowered C. cvijicii and the violet flowered C. veluchensis. Both parents grow in similar, montane and upland habitats in parts of Greece and former Yugoslavia. Mr Schnabel tells me that this bloomed for the first time in 2006. The cross used Crocus veluchensis from the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria and Crocus cvijicii from Mount Vermilion in Greece.
The colouring is a unique combination of yellow and violet, resulting in stunning rosy violet tones, with a bronze tube and yellow shading throughout the flower. It is a real beauty with the rounded blooms having overlapping petals. In the bud the colours are very intense but as the flower opens, so you can see the glorious glowing tones developing and the contrast between yellow and violet displays fully. Strangely Rainbow Gold will often open its first flowers before either parent, grown in the same garden under the same conditions.
Sunny, peaty spot (or an alpine house pan) but with good drainage and this should not be dried off in the summer, but rather kept a little moist, in keeping with the wild habitats and needs of both parents.