Colchicum speciosum

Naked ladies

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Key information

Plant type

Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour






Skill level


Colchicum speciosum

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.

Colchicum speciosum bears dramatic pink-purple flowers. The flowers appear alone, with the leaves following in spring. It's ideal for naturalising in grass or at the front of a sunny border. 

Grow Colchicum speciosum in well-drained soil in full sun. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so wear gloves when handling the bulbs.

Family: Colchicaceae

Genus: Colchicum

Species: speciosum

Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour: Pink

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

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

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 18cm

Spread: 10cm

Time to divide plants: June to July

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