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Ashleigh 2

Hi all, I have some Colchicum autumnale seeds and no idea what to do with them. Should I sow them now? If so how ( I haven't got a greenhouse but have got a coldframe) any advice appreciated.


Yes, best sown fresh and left to weather over theSummer and then get good and frosted in Winter. Germination is usually in Spring when the leaves on the mother bulbs come out.

They just need keeping moist and protection from rodents until they begin to grow. Patience is needed, they take about 5 years plus to reach flowering size.

Are colchicum autumnale autumn crocus, the lovely tall pale purple ones?

Ashleigh 2

Thank you Berghill, how deep do I need to sow them? Lovely photo Edd


I sow the seeds about half a centimetre deep and cover with grit.

Colchicums are not Autumn crocus. They are in a family of their own whilst Crocus are in the Iris family.



Yes Edd, they're the ones. I first saw them when I was working at Chatsworth house, I'd never seen them before, and just when most things seemed to be tucking up for winter they popped up. Very striking.


Saffron does not  come from  Colchicum, it comes from Crocus sativus.

All parts of Colchicum are poisonous.

Keep an eye open for the bulbs flowering in the packets in Garden Centres. They often then sell them off cheaply. It does not matter if they have flowered in the shop, you can still plant them and get flowers the following season.

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