The crocus egg is hanging out safe underground. To get to her the sperm has to travel first in a grain of pollen to the pistil of the flower (the dark orange part in the photo), then it has to travel down a tube through the stem of the flower all the way down to the ovary where the egg is waiting. After the seed begins to develop in the ovary, the stem underneath will begin to lengthen. This protects the forming seed from being frozen by a late frost or being eaten by a passing herbivore.
This is a wonderful species of crocus that thrives here in Delaware County. Unlike its common Dutch hybrid cousin, this crocus blooms about 2 weeks earlier, and is less appealing as food for rodents. It multiplies, forming a dense clump within a few years. It also will self-seed on occasion. It is a native of the northern Balkans, Hungary, and Bulgaria. It does best in the rock garden here in Delaware County as our soil tends to be so heavy. It will tolerate some shade. I mixed some gravel into the soil before I planted to avoid waterlogged conditions, and they seem quite happy with just morning sun.