COLCHICUM 'The Giant'
Plant Common Name
Hybrid Autumn Crocus, Hybrid Meadow Saffron
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Large in flower size and a robust display overall, the purplish blooms of 'The Giant' appear in earliest fall (rather than in spring like those of most other "bulbs"). Although sometimes called "autumn crocus," it is not related to the genus Crocus, which is in the iris family.
This hardy perennial produces large, broadly oval leaves in spring, which gather energy for the underground bulb-like storage organ, known as a corm. In very early fall, about three months after the pointed leaves have withered, numerous goblet-shaped flowers are lavender-purple to pale blue-violet. The floral stem tubes are prone to flopping. The slightly checker-patterned blooms have six narrow segments, opening wide in bright sun to reveal a white throat and golden yellow stamens. The large rounded corms may double or even triple in number each year, eventually forming a broad clump that provides a spectacular fall show.
Colchicums do best in full to partial sun and deep, moist, fertile, well-drained soil. The corms are often planted under low groundcovers like creeping juniper or ivy, which provide a green background and support the blossoms during wind and rainfall. This lovely perennial also is perfect for bringing new life to the late-season perennial garden or shrub planting. It works well in meadows and non-mown lawns. The corm will bloom even if not in soil! Purchase the corms in mid- to late summer, so they can be planted before they bloom.
All parts of Colchicum contain the potent alkaloid colchicine; see http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Colchau.htm
AHS Heat Zone
9 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 9
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Bulb or Corm or Tuber
Full Sun, Partial Sun
8"-9" / 20.3cm - 22.9cm
7"-10" / 17.8cm - 25.4cm
Alpine, Container, Cutflower, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
Sharp or Has Thorns