Plant of the Moment: Colchicum
This week’s plant of the moment is Colchicum, though to be honest I have several plants that I would like to do a post on but I was so surprised to see the Colchicum had flowered that it is now my pride and joy.
I bought my bulb last year at the Malvern Autumn Show, which is on again this weekend. It was one of those impulse buys and I was a little dubious as the bulb was already in flower but was sold unplanted if you see what I mean. I treated it like some rare orchid when I got home and planted it carefully in a pot with some moss around its stem to set off the flower. After it had flowered I kind of forgot about it until the spring when a guilty voice reminded me that I really needed to do something especially as a grub thing seemed to be taking up residence in the pot. In my haste to find a new home for the bulb I decided it needed somewhere where it was unlikely I would accidentally dig it up and I assumed that it wouldn’t mind a big of sun. I now discover that it likes deep moisture retentive soil!! My soil has a lot of clay in it and so retains the moisture despite sometimes baking in the sun.
Anyway last weekend I was walking past the border and something low and pale winked at me. Looking down I saw that the Colchicum had returned and was flowering away – one flower was out and a second was in bud. They do look a little strange as there are no leaves which I expect is why they are sometimes called ‘Naked Ladies’. I think the variety I have is Colchicum autumnale and no those aren’t thistle weeds either side of it but Morina longifolia.
So its off to the Autumn show this weekend and Colchicums will not be an impulse buy this year but at the top of my shopping list along with some Camassias for the bank.