MEADO SAFFRON WATERLILY (NAKED LADIES)
||MEADOW SAFFRON WATERLILY
||DOUBLE LILAC-PINK FLOWERS
Prized for its double lilac-pink flowers that appear in the autumn, reminiscent of waterlilies, this hardy perennial is native to northern turkey. It has been known in gardens since the late 19th century although sometimes called autumn crocus it is not related to the genus crocus but is in the lily family.
The fantastic thing about “colchicum waterlily” is that it will bloom even if not in soil. Put the dry bulb on a window sill and it will flower in about eight weeks, after flowering then put it in the garden for next year. Leaves will appear in the spring. Many autumn flowering crocus may have started growing and even flowering on delivery, this will not detract from the future performance and can be planted during and after flowering where they will successfully establish themselves for future years.
“colchicum waterlily” has received the royal horticultural society’s award of garden merit (agm) which is for plants of outstanding excellence.
This plant produces large broad strap-shaped leaves in spring, which gather energy for the underground bulb-like storage organs, known as a corm. In late summer some 3 months after the leaves have withered (this is why it is sometimes called naked ladies); 20-30 flowers arise on white, ankle-high, stalk-like floral tubes.
Each bloom comprises over 20 petals and resembles a waterlily and may double or even triple in number each year eventually forming a large clump that provides a spectacular autumn show.
Grow “colchicum waterlily” in full sun in rich, well drained soil. The corms are often planted under low ground covers like creeping juniper or ivy, which provide a green background and support the blossoms during wind and rainfall. This lovely prennial also is perfect for bringing new life to the late-season perennial garden or shrub planting. It works well in meadows and flowering lawns. Is attractive to bees, butterfliews and birds and is also resistant to deer.