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Colchicum 'Autumn Queen'
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

meadow saffron 'Autumn Queen'

'Autumn Queen' is a cormous perennial with robust, scented blooms in early autumn, each comprising a goblet of rose-pink petals, with a white throat, and purple, chequerboard markings, supported on a white perianth tube. Narrow, semi-erect leaves, to about 20cm long, are produced in spring, fading by summer

Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer
Autumn Pink Purple White
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Colchicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright, Clump forming
Potentially harmful
All parts are highly toxic by ingestion, and may cause skin irritation
Genus

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

Name status

Accepted

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How to grow

Cultivation

Plant 10cm deep in summer or early autumn in deep, fertile, moist but well-drained soil in a sunny site. Increases well and can be naturalised in grass

Propagation

Propagate by separating corms when dormant in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required; allow leaves to die down naturally

Pests

May be susceptible to slugs

Diseases

May be susceptible to grey moulds

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