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A picture of a Naked Ladies

Naked Ladies

Colchicum spp.

Also known as

Cup and a Saucer, Men-In-A-Boat, Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, Crocus

Colchicum brachyphyllum by Gidip (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Naked Ladies

A photo of Naked Ladies
A photo of Naked Ladies
A close up of a Colchicum luteum flower
A photo of Naked Ladies

Naked Ladies Overview

Colchicum plants are often called Naked Ladies, Naked Lady, Autumn Crocus or Meadow Saffron. This genus contains just over 100 perennial species native to West Asia, Europe and Mediterranean coastal regions through to South, Eastern Africa and the Western Cape. Colchicum plants are hardy perennial corms that produce showy, funnel-shaped flowers in spring or autumn. Naturally they are white, lavender or pink in colour. Temperate adapted species are cultivated for their flowers as ornamental garden plants and many hybrids and cultivars exist in an assortment of colours. A low maintenance plant, Colchicums are suitable for many garden situations including mixed borders, containers, gravel and rock gardens. Easily mixed up with the similar genus, Crocus. Colchicum is distinguished from them through the larger amount and size of flowers. All species are considered toxic. Sometimes grown under glass, most colchicums are suitable for growing outside where they prefer fertile, well-drained soil (but not too dry in the growing season) and need a sunny spot. Never allow them to become waterlogged.

Common problems with Naked Ladies

How to propagate Naked Ladies



Separate corms when dormant.

Special features of Naked Ladies

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Naked Ladies

Grown for their mainly goblet shaped blooms.

Deer Resistant Plants

Although never fully deer proof - they are less likely to eat these.

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Winter Flowering Bulbs

Flowering in winter these bulbs give a beautiful display.

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