Colchicum autumnale
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Colchicum autumnale

autumn crocus
meadow saffron

  Genus Colchicum 

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Genus  Colchicum Species  autumnale Variety  Cultivar  Common names  autumn crocus   colchicum   meadow saffron Family  COLCHICACEAE Specimen number  S11722 Data source  DyePl p58;HtZn p98;MedPl p191
Life cycle
Life form  Terrestrial Life cycle  Seasonal bulb Life span  1 - 3 years Annual cycle  Not applicable Stature  Flower Growth form  Not applicable Growth habit  Various Overall height  1' Overall spread   
Sunshine  Full sun to light shade Water  Moist, well drained Optimal soil texture  Various Acceptable soil pH  Neutral USDA hardiness  USDA zones 04a-09b AHS heat zones  Heat zones 09-01 Sunset climate zones  Not classified
Suitable for gardens  yes Nursery  Unknown Compost  no Size at acquisition  Unknown Garden location  Unknown Garden notes  Black is the most typical color produced by Colchicum autumnale. Colchicum was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina for dyeing. Colchicum (also known as autumn crocus and meadow saffron) can survive very cold winters with annual averages as low as -30 Fahrenheit. This plant needs summer days with high heat. This species likes full sun to light shade. It prefers moist, well drained soils.
Special qualities
Tolerates drought  no Tolerates high humidity  no Tolerates seaside conditions  no Insect resistant  no Disease resistant  no Deer resistant  no Best uses    Symbiosis  Attracts butterflies  no Attracts hummingbirds  no Autumn foliage  no Colorful berries  no Desirable qualities    Other interest    Other interest color  Other interest period   
Adverse factors
Common pests  Poisonous parts  Whole plant Poisonous indications  Internal poison  no Dermatologic poison  no Livestock poison  no Mechanical injury  no Hay fever pollen    Hay fever season    Adverse qualities   
Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties  Medicinal parts  Corm   Seeds Has medicinal uses  yes Do not self-administer  yes Do no use if pregnant  no Legally restricted  yes Toxicity precautions  It is highly toxic Medicinal notes  Colchicum autumnale is only to be administered with proper professional knowledge. Colchicum (sometimes called autumn crocus and meadow saffron) is not permitted in some countries. The corm and the seeds are used in herbal preparations. It is highly toxic. This whole plant is toxic.
Traditional uses
Parts used  Traditional uses  Contemporary uses  Fragrance  Fragrance parts  Fragrance intensity    Fragrance category    Dye parts  Dye color  black
Propagule  Bulb Pollination method    Planting style    Crop spacing    Row spacing    Cold frame  Planting period    Harvesting period    Frost tolerance    Heat requirement    Fertilizer  Typical Time to harvest 
Is edible  no Culinary uses  Nutritional value  Edible parts  Description of edible parts Flavor / texture 
Horticulture notes  Propagation of Colchicum autumnale can be achieved using its bulbs. Colchicum (in some places called autumn crocus and meadow saffron) may have originated from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tag needs printing  no Collection notes  Colchicum autumnale is a seasonal bulb. Flowers are borne during the month of September. Most often the flowers occur in either pink or lavender, with an accent in yellow.

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Last reviewed November 01, 2004   


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