Saturday, June 24, 2006

Now You See It

The unsightly withering foliage of colchicum (sometimes inaccurately called autumn crocus).

Now you don't

The "naked ladies" are now entering their dormant stage. I could not stand the mess any longer, so last night I cut them all off. They looked sufficiently dead to me.

In a couple of months they will rise out of the bare ground and be reborn into beautiful purplish-pink crocus-like flowers.

The term "naked ladies" refers to the fact that they bloom sans foliage. I had thought that term was reserved for Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna), but like so many common names in the confusing world of gardening, it also refers to cochicum autumnale.


  1. I never know when to cut down flowers, like tulips, once they're done I wait until the leaves are completely dead or can I cut them once the flower is gone?

  2. Pea, the leaves should turn brown and flop over. They need to stay on to build energy for the next year.

    I just cut down some tulips yesterday.

  3. Ok thank you Zoey...I've been cutting them too early I know better:-)

  4. You sure know your colchicums now, Zoey. No more thinking they're half dead tulips!


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