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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.
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.
Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb
Flower colour: Pink
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: June to July
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