Meadow Saffron, Common Autumn Crocus, Naked Lady Colchicum autumnale

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Colchicum autumnale







Common Name:

Meadow Saffron, Common Autumn Crocus, Naked Lady

6-8 inches
Minimum Hardiness Zone:

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  • Colchicum autumnale

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Growing Info, follow in order:
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.
In a Nutshell:
* Contrary to what the name suggests, neither a crocus nor the source of saffron; foliage emerges in spring, fades in early summer; flowers, pale rosy purple, spring up in October among fallen leaves.
* The species is commonly cultivated in temperate areas.
* The name "naked lady" comes from the fact that the flowers emerge from the ground long after the leaves have died back. more...
* The poisonous alkaloid 'colchicine' is extracted from this plant and used to alter the genetic make-up of plants in an attempt to find new, improved varieties. It works by doubling the chromosome number. more...
Usda description:
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