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Colchicum autumnale - Autumn Crocus Seed - Sheffield's Seed Co., Inc.

Colchicum autumnale

Common Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, Naked Lady

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In Stock: 0.1 lb (Total:0.1lb)
  • Colchicum autumnale

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0.1 lb


Germination test:
Cut (Full Seed)
Seeds per lb:
0.1 lb
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Growing Info

Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 12 hours
Stratification: cold stratify for 180 days
Germination: sow seed 1/16" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed

Other: may also require warm stratification, so germinatioin may be delayed by 1 year. 

Colchicum autumnale, commonly known as autumn crocus, meadow saffron, or naked ladies, is an autumn-blooming flowering plant that resembles true crocuses. However, it is a member of the Colchicaceae plant family, unlike true crocuses which belong to the Iridaceae family. Despite the vernacular name of "meadow saffron," this plant is not the source of saffron, which is obtained from the saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. The name "naked ladies" comes from the fact that the flowers emerge from the ground long after the leaves have died back.

Colchicum autumnale is commonly cultivated as an ornamental in temperate areas, despite its toxicity. It is a perennial herb with leaves up to 25 cm long, and the flowers are solitary, featuring six tepals, six stamens with orange anthers, and three white styles. The ovary is located below ground during fertilization.

This plant contains the toxic alkaloid colchicine, which is used in pharmaceuticals for the treatment of gout and familial Mediterranean fever. It is also used in plant breeding to produce polyploid strains by doubling the chromosome number. However, it is important to note that Colchicum autumnale is deadly poisonous and poses a particular threat to cats due to its colchicine and alkaloid content. All parts of the plant are regarded as poisonous.

Although not a true crocus, the late flowering time and attractive flowers make Colchicum autumnale a popular ornamental plant. The cultivar ‘Nancy Lindsay’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

For more information, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colchicum_autumnale&oldid=840137065.

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