WSU Clark County Extension

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Autumn Crocus

Scientific name: Colchicum autumnale

Type:Bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 8
Plant Characteristics
Height:1 ft
Width:0 ft
Bloom:Fall flowers
Bloom Time:September
Bloom Color:Lavender
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description With its large lavender flowers that resemble a champagne glass, Autumn Crocus is a welcome addition to a fall garden.

Autumn Crocus, also referred to as meadow saffron, is a fall blooming bulb derived from a corm. It bears long tubular 6-part purple-pink to white vase shaped flowers in September. Flowers are often 2” long.

A week after the flowers emerge the corm sends up 5-8 narrow fleshy leaves which grow during the fall.

The underground corm which gives rise to the above ground flowers and leaves is 1”-2” in diameter. A new corm develops on top of the older corm each year.

Autumn crocus grows in a wide array of sites, from full sun to partial shade.

None reported.

All parts of the Autumn Crocus plant are highly poisonous as it contains the alkaloid colchicine. Poisoning from this plant resembles arsenic poisoning; the symptoms (which occur 2 to 5 hours after the plant has been eaten) include burning in the mouth and throat, diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, and kidney failure.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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