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False Autumn Crocus, Showy Colchicum, Naked Ladies, Meadow Saffron

Colchicum speciosum

Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Colchicum (KOHL-chik-um) (Info)
Species: speciosum (spee-see-OH-sum) (Info)
Synonym:Colchicum bornmuelleri



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Madison, Alabama

Garberville, California

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Neptune, New Jersey

Cincinnati, Ohio

Olympia, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 12, 2004, Howard_C from St John's, NL wrote:

Colchicum speciosum is one of the best species and is the parent of many of the garden cultivars, like 'Lilac Wonder' & 'Violet Queen'. It is easy to grow in good garden soil here in St John's Newfoundland and increases well. I lift and re-plant every two or three years. As with all colchicums, it has large leaves in spring and early summer which must be allowed to die down naturally if you want more flowers in the autumn.

The true species has untesselated, reddish purple petals with a contrasting white centre in most cases and yellow anthers. Some of the pictures on this page are probably of garden hybrids since they do not all show these characteristics.