Family: Liliaceae

Scientific Name: Colchicum autumnale

Common Name: Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, Naked Boys

DescriptionA fall blooming bulb with many misleading common names. It is not a Crocus and doesn't produce Saffron.
Plant TypeBulbs, corms, tubers, rhizoms, etc.
Sunlightpartial sun, needs shade from hot sun
Soil & Siteaverage
Flowers6 lavender pink petals, September
LeavesProduces green strap-like leaves in April to May. Starts to dies back in June flopping over the neighboring plants. Resist removing until totally dead.
Stemssubterrarium structure, corm
Dimensions6 inches tall
MaintenancePlant the corms in late summer. Do not remove the deteriorating foliage until it is 75%-100% dead.
Misc FactsProduces a toxic chemical colchicine. Name may be derived from the fact that ancient authors claimed this plant was abundant in the Colchis, the Black Sea region of Georgia. Common names are misleading since it is not a Crocus and doesn't produce Saffron.
Author's NotesI have seen it best used planted in among tough ground covers like Purple Leaf Winter Creeper, Ajuga, Pachysandra, and around the base of small shrubs. The ground covers will support the plant and cover the dying foliage.
Notes & Reference#59-Naturalizing Bulbs (Rob Proctor), #60-The American Gardeners World of Bulbs (Judy Glattstein), #113-Bulbs for Gardens Habits (Judy Glattstein)
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