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A picture of a Meadow Saffron

Meadow Saffron

Colchicum autumnale

Also known as

Naked Ladies, Autumn Crocus, Fog Crocus, Meadow Crocus, Michaelmas Crocus, Naked Boys, Purple Crocus, Upstart, Colchicum

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








5 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Meadow Saffron

A photo of Meadow Saffron
A photo of Meadow Saffron
A photo of Meadow Saffron
A photo of Meadow Saffron
A photo of Meadow Saffron

Meadow Saffron Overview

The Meadow Saffron is a vigorous, perennial species that grows from a corm. It produces lavender-pink flowers with rounded petal tips, similar to those of the genus Crocus. Goblet-shaped flowers measure around 6cm long and appear in autumn. Strap-shaped, erect foliage measures around 30cm long and develops with or after the flowers. Many different cultivars of Colchicum autumnale have been developed, including those with white flowers ('Alboplenum'), or even double pink flowers ('Pleniflorum')! Low maintenance plants, Colchicums are suitable for many garden situations including mixed borders, containers, gravel and rock gardens. Grow Colchicum autumnale but well-drained, fertile soil (but not too dry in the growing season) or they may be naturalised in turf. They are intolerant of waterlogging and need a sunny position.

Common problems with Meadow Saffron

How to propagate Meadow Saffron




You can propagate by seed or division in the autumn.

Special features of Meadow Saffron

Attractive flowers

Autumn colour

Other uses of Meadow Saffron

Rock garden, naturaliser, ornamental, medicinal. Whole plant is poisonous if eaten.