Meet the Naked Lady, aka the Autumn Crocus


Autumn crocuses, naked ladies, colchicumScientific Name: Colchicum autamanale

Other Common Names: Meadow Saffron, Autumn Crocus, Naked Lady

During the fall, Naked Ladies like to make their appearances in the garden! No, we aren’t talking about a group of naked gardeners. Naked Lady is a nickname for Autumn Crocus, a popular fall-flowering bulb. The cheeky name comes from the fact that these flowers will emerge from the ground without leaves during the fall months, looking bare or naked.

Autumn crocuses are easily identified by their large, showy globlet-shaped flowers blooming on bare stems. Flowers, which come in shades of pink, purple and white, are native to European and North African meadows.

These fall-blooming flowers will add colour and beauty to any garden. They would would be ideal for rock gardens or among other low-growing plants. Naked ladies prefer sunny but sheltered locations, along with fertile, well-drained soils.

Interestingly, while the Autumn crocus and the spring-flowering crocus may look similar, they are NOT related. The Autumn crocus is not a true crocus. The spring flowering crocus, which is considered a true crocus, belongs to Iridaceae, the iris family.  Another difference is that the spring crocus is harmless, while the Autumn Crocus is poisonous to both animals and humans, as it contains colchincine, a deadly toxin. Needless to say, Colchicum autumnale is not edible. Even harvesting them as cut flowers isn’t recommended!

In the language of flowers, the Autumn Crocus symbolizes “My best days are gone! I’m growing old.”
Climate Zones: 4-9

About Corina Heppner

I love flowers! I enjoy writing about them as well as gardening. Mostly I love finding new and unique flower gardening ideas I encourage you to post regularly on this blog, and send in guest blogs or ideas for new blogs as well. New and exciting blogs are always welcome I intend to post a lot of interesting facts and fun stuff about flowers, as well as info on many varieties of flowers.
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2 Responses to Meet the Naked Lady, aka the Autumn Crocus

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: Top UK Autumn and Winter Flowering Plants | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  2. gold account says:

    At one of the awesome gardens I visited, I was tickled to see a clump of autumn crocus blooming beneath some trees. This look alike of the true crocus provides a burst of brilliance in the fall just when you need it. Spring crocus are actually members of the iris family while autumn crocus or colchicum autumnale are members of the lily family. Native to the Mediterranean area and parts of Asia, they make dazzling patches of amethyst, mauve or white flowers in partial shade or full sun. The blooms last for a couple of weeks in late summer and early fall and the bulbs naturalize easily. These bulbs are also called meadow saffron but it is from one of their close relatives that expensive saffron spice is harvested.

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