Another Colchicum Autumnale

Bold pink colchicum

Couldn’t resist sharing this picture of a potted colchicum, part of East Ruston’s extensive collection, even though I just learned that they are highly toxic plants. Even worse, their leaves can be confused with wild garlic, which tends to grow in the same areas. So, unlike many poisonous plants which have the potential to harm, but are never ingested, colchicums have been documented to kill.   Continue reading “Another Colchicum Autumnale”

Autumn Crocuses: Colchicums Are Just Alright, Right?

There are many plants I know I like. If you come here often, chances are, you could name a few of them too. Roses. Peonies. Blue poppies. Hellebores… I could go on. They don’t even need to have showy flowers – I love demure shade plants as much as anything. But colchicums? I’ve never given colchicums much thought. Not even the double forms I’ve seen, those waterlilies of the earth. As flowers go, I’d have said they were just alright.

Colchicums are flowers out of season: living mixed metaphors. Their appearance heralds Autumn, with its rich ripeness and decay, but by putting out fresh, soft growth. Their ankle-high colours seem to cry out ‘Spring!’ in error, oblivious that all the leaves on the trees way above are considering whether it would still be premature for them to twist, redden and fall in their yearly ritual.  Continue reading “Autumn Crocuses: Colchicums Are Just Alright, Right?”