Crocus was a mortal young man in Greek mythology. According to one myth, he was unhappy with his affair with Smilax; the gods felt pity for him and turned him into the plant of the same name (crocus or saffron). Similarly, Smilax was turned into bindweed.
According to a different story, Crocus was the companion of the messenger god Hermes. When Hermes accidentally killed his friend during a game of discus, he was so distraught that he transformed the young man's body into the flower.
See Also: Hermes