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Information for Gardeners

Colchicum (F)

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Hardy to Zone 5.

Plant as soon as you receive these bulbs or they may bloom in the box! Plant in late August to late September, in moist, well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Plant 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Flowers appear soon after planting. Usually foliage will develop in spring but will wither buy early summer and then flowers appear alone in autumn.

Crocus sativus: "The Saffron Crocus".

Lilac flowers with prominent bright orange-red stigmas that are used as a spice and a dye. To collect saffron, pick the stigmas as soon as the flowers open. Air dry the stigmas as quickly as possible and store in a closed container away from light or heat. Does best in areas with warm, sunny autumns. Plant in a sheltered, warm location. Grows 4-6 inches high. Hardy to Zone 5.

Colchium bornmuelleri:

This cultivar flowers in late September and early October. Fragrant funnel shaped rose pink flowers with creamy white centers. Each corm can produce 1-6 flowers. This variety tolerates light shade. Grows 4-6 inches high. Hardy to Zone 4.

Colchium speciosum - Double Waterlily

One of the most popular varieties. Grows best in rich, organic soils in full sun. Each double pink flower has more than 20 petals. Mulch around these bulbs to keep the heavy flowers out of muddy, autumn soil. Grows 4-6 inches high. Hardy to Zone 4.

Colchium "The Giant"

This hybrid is the result of a cross between Colchicum gigantium and Colchicum bornmuelleri. Extra large lilac flowers with white centers that grow up to 25 cm tall on very sturdy stems. This extremely vigorous variety multiplies quickly when planted in rich soil. Blooms in late Sept. and early Oct. Hardy to Zone 4.

Crocus speciosus: Showy Crocus

The most reliable and popular of the fall crocuses. Easy to grow, it naturalizes well and is sweetly scented. It usually begins to flower in late September and continues through October. Grows in full sun or light shade. Dark Violet Blue flowers with brilliant stigmas. Plant in coarse well-drained soil. Grows 4-6 inches high. Hardy to Zone 4.

Colchicum

Botanically distinct from Crocus, but often grouped together because of similar cultural requirements. NOTE: Colchicums are not edible like the saffron crocus! Deer will not eat Colchicums. Colchicums do not tolerate limed soils very well. Water only during extremely dry spells. Once established each corm increases like daffodil corms do. You can divide crowded clumps just after they flower. Carefully lift the clump and separate individual bulbs. Replant immediately.

Sternbergia 'Lutea'

Also called 'Autumn Daffodil', this species is often grouped with autumn crocus. Prefers full sun to part shade and very well drained soil. Plant 6 inches deep. These plants will form large clumps and will often self seed. Lance shaped leaves appear with the golden flowers in autumn and last all winter. Grows 4-6 inches high.