• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Colchicum autumnale

meadow saffron

  • Other common names meadow saffron
    naked ladies

    autumn crocus
    fog crocus
    meadow crocus
    Michaelmas crocus
    naked boys
    purple crocus

    see more
  • Synonyms Colchicum autumnale 'Wild Form'
    Colchicum autumnale var. minor

    Colchicum haynaldii
    Colchicum pannonicum

    see more
  • Family Colchicaceae

  • Genus Colchicum are cormous perennials with usually coarse, broadly strap-shaped leaves which appear with or after the goblet-shaped flowers

  • Details C. autumnale is a cormous herbaceous perennial to 15cm, with erect, strap-shaped leaves to 30cm in length, and in autumn, up to 6 crocus-like lavender-pink flowers 6cm in length

  • Plant range W & C Europe


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Columnar/Upright

  • Toxicity All parts are highly toxic by ingestion. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing or North-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0-0.1 metre

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moist but well-drained, deep, humus-rich, fertile soil. Intolerant of waterlogging. May be naturalised in turf

Propagation Propagate by seed, sowing in containers in an open frame when ripe or separate corms when dormant in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs Patio & Container Plants Wildflower meadow Cottage & Informal Garden Rock Garden

How to care

Pruning No pruning required

Pests May be damaged by slugs

Diseases Generally disease free

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