Colchicum autumnale Bulbs are an interesting species that bloom before the foliage appears being amongst the most widely grown of the many Colchicum species and cultivars available for sale. Fairly easy to grow and care for in sun or part shade in a humus rich soil, they seem to prefer being planted in the ground rather than in containers.
Often referred to as 'autumn crocus' or 'meadow saffron', they are actually a genus of its own, they are neither a crocus or is it saffron.
Although C. autumnale or autumn crocus is the best known (picture right Colchicum autumnale 'Pleniflorum'), however many interesting cultivars are worth considering for the garden.
In cultivation Colchicum autumnale are easy, as long as you have a well drained, yet moist soil.
- Plant around 8cm deep and 12cm apart for a good display.
- C. autumnale is often used to plant into lawns where it is left to naturalise.
- They will reach a height of around 15cm.
- Mow well before they emege in autumn and then it is 'no mow' until the foliage has died back.
- Part shade to full sun, but not deep shade.
- Colchicum do grow well in containers as well.
Propagation by division is easy while dormant, best in spring. They can also be grown from seed if you are the patient type of gardener.
Colchicum Species are available for sale from the following nurseries
Bishops Hull Taunton TA4 1AE
Phone: 01823 286231 Fax:01823 323646
You may also be interested in :
Other Colchicum Species
- Colchicum x agrippinum is an easy to grow hybrid with small lilac - pink 'chequered' flowers.
- C. speciousum flowers in autumn.
- C. baytopiorum has pink tessellated flowers.
- C. macrophyllum, rarely offered for sale, pleated foliage as well as large flowers.
- C. corsicum and C. baytopiorum are others to consider.
Colchicum bulbs are readily available for sale from participating mail order and online nurseries in the UK.