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COLCHICUM autumnale 'Album'

Image of Colchicum autumnale 'Album'

International Flower Bulb Centre

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

COLCHICUM autumnale 'Album'

Plant Common Name

Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, Naked Ladies

General Description

Popping its white, goblet-shaped flowers up from the ground in early autumn, this cheerful hardy "bulb" is certain to brighten the garden. Native to Europe and western Russia, it grows from plump corms (condensed underground stems) covered with papery tunics. They send up large lance-shaped green leaves in spring, which provide nourishment to the corm before withering and disappearing in late spring. In the waning days of very late summer or early autumn, white flowers on long white tubes emerge from the ground, creating an unexpected display at a gardening season dominated by yellow, orange and red. The flowers open wide in sunlight to reveal a central cluster of yellow stamens. Although often called "autumn crocus", it is unrelated to its namesake.

The corms of autumn crocus are usually available for a short period in late summer, when they should be planted in a fertile, humus-rich soil in full to partial sun. Often they are planted among evergreen groundcovers such as ivy, creeping juniper, or asiatic jasmine, so that they are all but forgotten until their joyful flowering in autumn. They are also great to use in dish gardens and alpine troughs, or in meadows, lawns, or shrub borders.

All parts of this plant are poisonous, so place it where it won't be confused with edible plants or handled by children.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    4"-12" / 10.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Europe, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No