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Colchicum autumnale (Meadow saffron)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
0.5m
Max height
0.1m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Colchicum autumnale

Other names

Meadow saffron, Purple crocus, Upstart, Meadow crocus, Michaelmas crocus, Naked boys, Naked ladies, Autumn crocus, Fog crocus, Colchicum pannonicum

Genus

Colchicum Colchicum

Species

C. autumnale - C. autumnale has strap-shaped leaves cup-shaped lavender-pink flowers.


Colchicum autumnale is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

All parts are highly toxic if eaten

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Pink in Autumn

Foliage

Green, Grey-green in Spring

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Slugs Slugs

General care

Pruning

No pruning needed.

Propagation methods

Seed


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Where to grow

Colchicum autumnale (Meadow saffron) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Rock, Gravel, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Naturalised in turf, Wildflower

Cultivation

Plant in moist but well-drained, deep, humus-rich, fertile soil. Does not tolerate water logging.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Colchicum autumnale

Other names

Meadow saffron, Purple crocus, Upstart, Meadow crocus, Michaelmas crocus, Naked boys, Naked ladies, Autumn crocus, Fog crocus, Colchicum pannonicum

Genus

Colchicum Colchicum

Species

C. autumnale - C. autumnale has strap-shaped leaves cup-shaped lavender-pink flowers.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

All parts are highly toxic if eaten

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Pink in Autumn

Foliage

Green, Grey-green in Spring


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Slugs

General care

Pruning

No pruning needed.

Propagation methods

Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Colchicum autumnale (Meadow saffron) will reach a height of 0.5m and a spread of 0.1m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Rock, Gravel, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Naturalised in turf, Wildflower

Cultivation

Plant in moist but well-drained, deep, humus-rich, fertile soil. Does not tolerate water logging.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Colchucum autumnale

My colchicum autumnale were planted last year at the base of a lilac. The corms seem to have all risen to the surface and have now got baked in the sun. I plan to lift them, divide the corms, and… read more

Colchicum autumnale

Despite appearances, this is a lily rather than a crocus. The flowers provide a good source of nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators late in the season. They bear orange anthers, which can… read more

There are 3 active discussions about Colchicum autumnale (Meadow saffron)

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