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COLCHICUM 'White Waterlily'

Image of Colchicum 'White Waterlily'

Debbie Schilling

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

COLCHICUM 'White Waterlily'

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Autumn Crocus, White Double Autumn Crocus

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

With as many as 20 white tepals on each fall flower, 'White Waterlily' originated from a cross between Colchicum autumnale 'Album' and Colchicum speciosum 'Album'. Although sometimes called "autumn crocus," it is not related to the genus Crocus, which is in the iris family.

This plant produces large handsome strap-shaped leaves in spring, which gather energy for the underground bulb-like storage organ, known as a corm. In late summer or early fall, about three months after the leaves have withered, plump buds arise on stalk-like floral tubes, opening to display their many petal-like segments. The corms may double or even triple in number each year, eventually forming a large 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 such as creeping juniper or ivy, which provide a green background and brace the blossoms against wind and rain. This lovely perennial is also perfect for bringing new life to the late-season perennial garden or shrub planting. The corms will bloom even if not in soil! Purchase them 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

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 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

    3"-7" / 7.6cm - 17.8cm

  • Width

    3"-10" / 7.6cm - 25.4cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

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

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Double

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Cutflower, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No