Colchicum agrippinum

Colchicum agrippinum will be one of the many bulb and bulb-like species available at tomorrow’s Treasured Bulb Sale. I had a look at what will be for sale and noticed quite a few precious things, so if you have some time tomorrow (Saturday), do drop in (if not for the plants, then for the talks and to see all the pirates — free entry to the Botanical Garden if you’re in pirate garb!).

In biological terms, autumn-crocus is a cormous species instead of a bulbous one. Corms are composed of stem tissue whereas bulbs are mostly modified leaves. To paraphrase the Wikipedia entry on corms, cutting a corm in half will reveal a solid mass of tissue, while cutting a bulb will reveal layers (e.g., onion). That said, corms will often be protected by layers of leaf tissue–these wrap around the corms (originating from the base) and form a tunic or skin.

Colchicum agrippinum is a putative hybrid between Colchicum autumnale and Colchicum variegatum. Its origins seem to me to be unclear, as the RHS Plant Finder lists it as being distributed in Greece to southwest Turkey, though other references seem to suggest it is an artificial hybrid. In any case, it has received an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, a good indicator of reliable plants for gardens in temperate maritime-influenced climates.

More photographs of Colchicum agrippinum and its tessellated flowers are available from the Pacific Bulb Society Wiki: Colchicum hybrids.

Colchicum agrippinum
Colchicum agrippinum

6 responses to “Colchicum agrippinum”

  1. Jane Levy Campbell

    Add this one to my wish list of plant subjects for my botanical watercolor studies. Unfortunately I won’t be able to zip up to Vancouver from Portland to buy some bulbs, due to upcoming Portland Open Studios, so I’ll have to search online. I’d also like to do a checkered fritillaria ( meleagris ) painting. The challenge of rendering those organic-geometric patterns is very appealing. Is anyone aware of similarly patterned blooms?

  2. iris lefleur

    Ah, one of my favorite fall flowers! How I wish I could attend the bulb sale, I love pirates too. I feel I am missing a good time! ARRRRRRRRRRRRR

  3. sue

    Thankyou , such a joy to see in the early Fall. Know for sure that
    they are definitely deer proof. Have also heard of them being
    called Naked Ladies.

  4. Irma in Sweden

    They are lovely but there is a downside. The huge leaves in spring!

  5. Rachel

    These are lovely. I saw tons of them in the woods on the Greek island of Meis. I thought it was interesting that they had no leaves, just a purple bloom sticking out of the ground.
    I never knew what they were, thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. elizabeth a airhart

    do you all really paint plant and grow naked ladies !
    fall flowers are lovely avast ye we are sailing for canada

Leave a Reply