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Colchicum autumnale

Naked ladies

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Key information

Plant type

Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour

Pink, Lilac

Feature

Flowers

Hardiness

Hardy

Skill level

Beginner

photo by bbc.co.uk/gardening

Plant details

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.

Family: Colchicaceae

Genus: Colchicum

Species: autumnale

Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour: Pink, Lilac

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 20cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: June to August


Reader reviews

monkeymayhem

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