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Colchicum byzantinum (Meadow Saffron)

Byzantine Meadow Saffron, Colchicum autumnale var. major hort., Naked Ladies, Autumn Crocus

AGM Award
Colchicum Byzantinum, Byzantine Meadow Saffron, Colchicum autumnale var. major hort., fall crocus, Autumn crocus, Crocus autumnale, lavender flowering bulb, lavender flowers, Naked Ladies, Autumn Crocus

Award-winning Colchicum byzantinum is an early fall-blooming Colchicum that bears up to 20 small, funnel-shaped, soft lilac flowers, 4-6 in. long (10-15 cm), with a prominent central white stripe. Appearing long before the leaves, they are borne on white stems. This perennial makes a truly unique display in the fall garden. Resembling crocuses, it produces its 5-6 broad, ribbed, dark green leaves way later, in spring. Ridiculously easy to grow, all parts of this plant are poisonous. Therefore, it is diligently ignored by hungry deer, rabbits, and other critters.

  • Growing up to 6-8 inches tall and wide (15-20 cm), this Colchicum naturalizes easily and will come back year after year!
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade.
  • Stunning in front of shrubs, among low-growing perennials, woodlands, meadows, around patios or along walkways.
  • Generally disease free. Watch for slugs.
  • To be planted 8 in. deep (20 cm) and 8 in. apart (20 cm) in very early fall.
  • Propagate by seed, sowing in containers in an open frame when ripe or separate corms when dormant in summer.
  • All parts are highly toxic by ingestion. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses, toxic to humans.
  • Colchicum byzantinum is generally considered to be native to southeastern Europe, however, some authorities believe that it is actually a hybrid of C. cilicicum.

Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colchicaceae
Genus Colchicum
Common names Autumn Crocus, Naked Ladies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spread 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spacing 8" (20cm)
Depth 8" (20cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Pathways, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’ (Colchicum)
Colchicum cilicicum (Autumn Crocus)
Colchicum ‘The Giant’ (Autumn Crocus)
Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ (Meadow Saffron)
Colchicum speciosum ‘Atrorubens’ (Colchicum)
Colchicum autumnale ‘Nancy Lindsay’ (Meadow Saffron)

Recommended Companion Plants

Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (Black Mondo)
Ajuga reptans ‘Catlin’s Giant’ (Carpet Bugle)
Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ (Frikart’s Aster)
Carex comans ‘Frosted Curls’ (New Zealand Hair Sedge)
Liriope muscari (Blue Lily Turf)
Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Flower Bulbs
Flower Bulbs That Thrive Under Trees
Naturalizing Bulbs In The Lawn
Colchicum (Autumn Crocus)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 4 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 9
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs, Perennials
Plant Family Colchicaceae
Genus Colchicum
Common names Autumn Crocus, Naked Ladies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Fall
Height 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spread 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spacing 8" (20cm)
Depth 8" (20cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low, Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Pathways, Patio And Containers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Colchicum (Autumn Crocus) to pick?
Compare Now

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