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Meadow Saffron

Colchicum autumnale

Plant Data

Order:
Liliales
Family:
Colchicaceae (Autumn Crocus)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Pinkish purple Crocus-like flowers but actually in its own family. 6 stamens, orange anthers, white styles, pale stalks. Up to 4.5cm wide.
Fruit:
Egg-shaped.
Leaves:
Long and linear grass-like leaves with a whitish midrib. The leaves normally die back before the flowers appear. Leaf blades grow up to 30cm long.
Maximum Size:
10cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
Poisonous. All parts of the plant contain a toxic alkaloid called 'colchicine'. The numerous symptoms of Colchicine poisoning are similar to Arsenic poisoning. The leaves and fruit are the most toxic parts of the flower.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
Autumn Crocus, Bare Naked Ladies, Naked Ladies.
Habitats:
Gardens, grassland, meadows, woodland.