Autumn Crocus Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
meadow saffron 'Lilac Wonder'


Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' is a striking flower known for its beautiful display in the garden. Its flowers are of a delicate lilac shade with a hint of pink, which gives it an enchanting look. The petals are long and tend to have a tapered shape, culminating in a more pointed tip, while the base is often slightly wider, giving the blossoms a goblet-like appearance. The inside of the petals typically showcases prominent, contrasting white striping or veining that radiates from the center to the edges, adding depth and dimension to each flower. The center of the flower houses prominent stamens that bring a dash of bright yellow, contributing to the overall allure of the plant. These stamens create a vivid contrast with the soft lilac petals, making them stand out even more. The foliage of 'Lilac Wonder' is typical of this type of plant, with long and glossy leaves that add a lush backdrop to the striking flowers. The leaves often emerge after the flowers bloom, and can be quite broad and strap-like in shape, providing a verdant contrast to the colorful blooms that rest above them. Overall, Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' makes for a beautiful and eye-catching addition to any garden, with its unique color palette and charming floral display.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron, Naked Lady

    • Common names

      Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Autumn crocus is a toxic plant for humans. All parts of the autumn crocus contain colchicine, a toxin that can cause severe gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If ingested, it can also lead to more severe symptoms such as respiratory depression, kidney failure, liver damage, and convulsions. Ingesting this plant can be fatal, therefore, medical attention should be sought immediately if ingestion occurs.

    • To pets

      Autumn crocus is toxic to pets such as dogs and cats. The entire plant contains colchicine, which can cause severe gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea, potentially bloody. Pets may also exhibit symptoms like drooling, abdominal pain, respiratory failure, seizures, liver and kidney damage, and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Therefore, any pet ingesting autumn crocus should be taken to a vet immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      3-6 inches (7.5-15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Adds vibrant color: Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder', or autumn crocus, provides a burst of lilac-pink blooms in late summer to autumn, brightening up the garden when many other flowers are fading.
    • Easy to grow: This low-maintenance bulb is easy to plant and care for, requiring minimal attention once established in the right conditions.
    • Naturalizing: The autumn crocus has the ability to multiply and spread over time, creating natural drifts of color in the landscape.
    • Drought-tolerant: Once established, Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' is quite drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping or gardens with low water availability.
    • Deer and rodent resistant: It's typically resistant to deer and rodents, which can be a significant benefit in areas where these animals are a nuisance to gardeners.
    • Attracts pollinators: The flowers attract bees and other pollinators to the garden, which is beneficial for the pollination of other plants and overall garden health.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Colchicum bulbs can sometimes be used as a food source for squirrels and other small rodents, although caution is advised due to their toxic nature.
    • The striking autumn-blooming flowers of Colchicum can serve as an educational tool in botany classes to illustrate plant life cycles that are uncharacteristic for the season.
    • Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' can be used as a natural dye, providing a subtle color for fabrics when traditional dyeing methods are used.
    • In photography, the vibrant purple-pink flowers can make for a stunning subject in macro photography experiments, focusing on the delicate textures and forms.
    • The plant is sometimes used in ornamental crafts, such as dried flower arrangements or potpourri, although caution is needed due to its toxicity if mishandled.
    • Garden designers can utilize Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' to create a "surprise" element in gardens, as the flower blooms without foliage in the fall, unlike most plants.
    • Specialty horticulture programs may use the plant as a case study in propagation techniques, including division and offsets, as it propagates using corms.
    • The reflective properties of its petals can be studied for their potential use in the development of reflective materials or in light diffusing applications.
    • 'Lilac Wonder' can be used as part of a natural color spectrum range for artists, who can be inspired by its vivid colors outdoors to create paintings.
    • Film and theatre set designers might integrate Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder' into outdoor scenes to create an authentic and visually engaging autumnal setting.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Autumn Crocus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Autumn Crocus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Rebirth and renewal: The Colchicum, commonly known as autumn crocus, often blooms in the fall, symbolizing the idea of a new beginning or a second chance as it rises unexpectedly when most other plants are preparing for dormancy.
    • Endurance: Autumn crocus's ability to bloom with little to no foliage present exemplifies persistence and the capacity to thrive even in less than ideal circumstances.
    • Transition: Representing change and the passage of time, the Colchicum blooms in the autumn, a season which itself signifies transition from the abundance of summer to the dormancy of winter.
    • Purity: The delicate, often light-colored flowers of the autumn crocus are frequently associated with purity and innocence, common themes in floral symbolism.
    • Beauty: Like many flowers, the autumn crocus is also seen as a symbol of beauty, particularly because it provides a surprise splash of color during a time when other flowers are fading away.

During active growth, moist
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Early Fall
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Autumn Crocus, or Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder', prefers to be watered thoroughly but only when the soil feels dry to the touch; overwatering can be detrimental. During the growth and blooming period, typically in the fall, water the plant every one to two weeks, providing approximately one gallon per square foot or until the water begins to run out of the bottom of the pot, if container-grown. When the plant is dormant, particularly in the summer, reduce watering significantly to prevent bulb rot. Depend on rainfall but check occasionally to ensure the soil does not completely dry out for extended periods.

  • sunLight

    For the Autumn Crocus, select a location that offers full sun to partial shade for ideal growing conditions. The best spot is one that receives morning sunlight and is protected from the intense heat of the afternoon. They thrive under dappled light, such as that found beneath open-canopy trees, which closely mimics their natural woodland habitat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Autumn Crocus prefers temperate conditions and can tolerate a temperature range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during its growth phase. It can survive brief cold spells down to around 20 degrees Fahrenheit but should not be subjected to prolonged freezing temperatures. Ideal temperatures for bloom development are usually in the cooler end of its tolerance range.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically required for the Autumn Crocus as they naturally die back after flowering and foliage fades. However, once the leaves yellow, they can be gently removed to keep the area tidy and to prevent any potential disease or pest issues. The best time to clean up the plant is when the foliage has completely died down and comes away with little resistance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Autumn Crocus 'Lilac Wonder' thrives in well-draining, fertile soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. A good mix would be equal parts of loam, sand, and peat to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Autumn Crocus 'Lilac Wonder' bulbs do not require frequent repotting. They should be repotted every 3-4 years or when the bulbs multiply and become crowded in their current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Autumn Crocus 'Lilac Wonder' is tolerant of most humidity levels, but it does best in average household humidity. Avoiding overly humid conditions is advisable to prevent rot.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright indirect light and cool temperatures for indoor Autumn Crocus.

    • Outdoor

      Plant bulbs in well-draining soil with full to partial sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of the Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder', also known as autumn crocus or meadow saffron, begins with the corm, a storage organ that survives underground during the dormant period. In late summer or early fall, flowering stalks emerge directly from the corm, bypassing any foliage, to produce solitary, lilac-pink, funnel-shaped blooms without any significant frost damage. After flowering, the plant goes dormant, and the corm remains underground where it enters a rest period through the winter. In the spring, foliage emerges, resembling broad, strappy leaves that photosynthesize to replenish the corm's energy reserves. The leaves die back by early summer when the plant enters another dormancy period until the cycle repeats with the next bloom in the autumn. During its lifecycle, the corm may also produce offsets, leading to the gradual formation of a clump of new plants that will eventually mature and flower.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Fall

    • Colchicum 'Lilac Wonder', commonly known as autumn crocus, is typically propagated through division of its corms. The best time to propagate this plant is after the foliage has died back in late spring or early summer. To propagate, carefully lift the clumps of corms from the ground using a garden fork, being cautious not to damage them. The corms can be readily separated by hand, as offsets will have formed naturally. Each offset corm should have at least one growing point or bud. These should be replanted at a depth of about 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) in well-drained soil with ample sunlight. Water the newly planted corms to help them establish, and they should bloom in the following fall season.