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Colchicum autumnale is often confused with:
Crocus sativus Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Narcissus A field of daffodils taken in Hurley Park, Salisbury, NC
Dianthus deltoides Dianthus deltoides
Dianthus Flowers
Colchicum autumnale has some common insect problems:
Slugs and Snails Found on Flowers and Foliage

Colchicum autumnale

Phonetic Spelling
KOHL-chik-um aw-tum-NAH-lay
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Colchicum autumnale, or Autumn Crocus, is a perennial herb with basal, slender leaves; long, tubular, 6 parted, purple-pink to white flowers that blossom in autumn (hence the common name). The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Native to southern Europe, Autumn Crocus can be found in meadows and damp woodland clearings on calcareous and neutral soils.

Autumn crocus prefers a rich, well-drained loam in a sunny position with a PH in the range of 4.5 to 7.5. It will tolerate partial shade and summer drought, but not dry soils. Plants are hardy to about -4 degrees F (-20°C) and the dormant bulbs are fairly hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least 23 degrees F (-5°C). Autumn crocus are typically planted from corms, which should be planted about 2 3/4 to 4 inches (7 - 10cm) deep. Divide the bulbs in June or July when the leaves have died down. Larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out. The plant can be divided every other year for a quick increase. The Autumn crocus is also easily grown in grass and can be naturalized there, among shrubs, and by woodland edges. When grown from seed, the seedlings take 4 to 5 years to reach flowering size. The plants seem to be immune to damage from rabbits.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious diseases. Slugs may attack the corms. Fungal smut may attack the leaves. Poisonous and poses a particular threat to cats.

More information on Colchicum.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pleniflorum'
    rose-pink double flowers
'Pleniflorum'
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#border planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Pleniflorum'
    rose-pink double flowers
'Pleniflorum'
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#border planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Colchicum
    Species:
    autumnale
    Family:
    Colchicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Despite its poisonous reputation, it is sometimes used in the treatment of gout.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Southeastern Europe
    Distribution:
    Britain, Denmark south to Spain, east to Macedonia. Introduced into Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Vermont.
    Wildlife Value:
    Noted for attracting wildlife.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought, rabbit, and deer
    Edibility:
    Highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Flower stems emerge from the ground to 6 to 10 inches tall in late summer to early fall. Each stem bears a star-shaped, lavender-pink to lilac-pink flower. Fall flowers have no foliage, hence the additional common name of naked ladies.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Five to eight dark green leaves to 10 inches long emerge in spring. Foliage gradually yellows and dies by early summer when the plants go dormant.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Highly toxic and can be fatal if ingested. Symptoms include cramping, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, respiratory failure, shock, multi-organ damage, bone marrow suppression. All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb, are poisonous.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloid colchicine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems