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Although often called autumn crocus, colchicums are not related to true crocuses. There are winter- and spring-flowering species, but the most common ones bloom in September and October. They flower when least expected, the large blooms suddenly appearing from the bare earth without any leaves - hence the common name naked ladies. Blooms of the species autumnale are pale lilac. The large, floppy foliage grows in spring and is best if supported by shrubs and herbaceous flowers. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Colchicum 'Waterlily' produces double flowers with pinkish purple petals.
Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb
Flower colour: Lilac
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: September to October
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