Colchicum, False Autumn Crocus, Showy Colchicum, Naked Ladies, Meadow Saffron 'The Giant'


Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Colchicum (KOHL-chik-um) (Info)
Cultivar: The Giant


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall




Good Fall Color

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)

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:

Macy, Indiana

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Ludington, Michigan

Jefferson, New York

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Salem, Oregon

Conway, South Carolina

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 11, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The elegantly goblet-shaped flowers bloom without foliage in September, when many gardens begin to look tired. The color is more intense than the perennially big-selling 'Lilac Wonder'. Colchicum flowers often fall over after a day or so---they stay upright longer if grown through a low groundcover. I'm not a believer in "bigger is better", but with colchicums the extra size of its flowers helps them to stand out above their companions. I always look forward to their appearance, and I'm always disappointed that they last so briefly.

Each corm produces multiple flowers in succession over 2-3 weeks. Because the corms multiply rapidly by offsets, I'm inclined to plant them 12-18" apart. They aren't cheap, but even a single corm will soon produce a substantial display if you dig... read more


On Feb 20, 2011, whitesam9 from Dayton, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very beautiful lavender/ pink flowers. I ordered some Giant Colchicum bulbs on the internet last year. The bulbs were already starting to sprout when I received them in mid-September. I popped them in the ground, and I had flowers blooming in just a few days. They bloomed for about almost a month in my garden (until mid-October).


On Mar 12, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are large flowering crocuses which as I write are putting up new growth. They are a nice rich green color of foliage, and will continue to grow to a height of about 8-10". In mid-summer the foliage dies back to the ground, and in late August through mid-September flower buds appear on narrow stems. They are quite attractive in the late summer garden, and the color is welcome at that time when other blooms have diminished. These will even bloom on a bare bulb if left on a sunny window sill.


On Sep 28, 2004, Howard_C from St John's, NL wrote:

One of the hybrids produced in Holland in the early 1900's, this is my least favorite; its colour is an insipid pink and it's big and blowsy so that it falls over in our rather wild climate. However, it increases well, and some people like things big!

The picture I've added illustrates the distinguishing features of this variety: pale pink tessellated petals gradually fading into the white centres, over 3 inches long, and brown not yellow anthers. (It has been so dull lately that I had to pick a flower and bring it indoors to get it to open for the picture!)