No.16 Colchicum autumnale

January 28, 2013 – 11:04 am

This exquisite clump of Colchicum autumnale – commonly known as Meadow Saffron, Naked Ladies, or in a misnomer liable to bring botanical purists out in a rash, Autumn Crocus – is growing through a mat of Aster divaricatus, which both supports the leafless flowers and offers a degree of protection from soil splash during heavy rain.

Many people don't realise that this species is a UK native (see for a distribution map), though its range and numbers have declined as a result of habitat loss and, in places, deliberate elimination; Colchicums are toxic to livestock.

Large glossy leaves – attractive in their own right when fresh – appear in spring but die away by summer. I always look forward to the early autumn flowers, which take me back to the grazing meadows of the Swiss Jura, where we once lived. Meadow Saffron was a harbinger of the Désalpe, when amidst much clanging of bells, herds of cattle would be led down from high summer pastures to their lowland winter quarters, only a matter of weeks before the first snows...

Source: freerangegardener.blogspot.com


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Plants, kids, and pets??

Please check before you plant. Many common garden plants can make a child or a pet severely ill if not kill them. Put in "list common garden plants poison" and look at the websites. All parts of some plants, and only specific parts of other plants are toxic. These are just a few.
Daffodils, hyacinths
Castor Bean
Larkspur
Monkshood
Autumn crocus, Star of Bethlehem
Iris
Foxglove
Daphne, wisteria
Rhodys, azaleas
If you have children or pets please check before you plant.


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