Colchicum bornmuelleri of gardens

– Posted in: Colchicums

Colchicum bornmuelleri of gardensAccording to John Bryan in Bulbs, “the plant usually grown under this name is a form of C. speciosum with yellow anthers.” Elsewhere he also says it has a white throat. I’ve looked at the photo of the “true” C. bornmuelleri, and I definitely have the impostor. It has yellow anthers and a white throat, and it’s big as the “triplets” I described previously.

The firm I bought it from describes it having “huge, fragrant, vase-like flowers on a green base . . . As the flowers mature, the pink coloration in the petals becomes very prominent, like a blush.” There’s always someone throwing a wrench in the monkeyworks! Huge, yes; fragrant, no; vase-like, well, that depends on the vase; green base, yes, if by base you mean perianth tube. And it’s true the color is very prominent, but like a blush? My first thought is blush the make-up, which is usually a very transparent hint of color–not what I’d call prominent. But just now I thought, “Oh, blush as in ‘I’m blushing’!” Yeah, on me that’s certainly prominent. But it’s not that color. On my plants it’s just a really concentrated form of the color on the Triplets–mauve, I think it’s called.

Whatever the name, whatever the color, I highly recommend this colchicum. It multiplies quickly, producing large, vivid blossoms that stand up well. I can easily see planting this in grass or in front of shrubs without its getting lost.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Kathy October 24, 2003, 6:38 pm

Yes, Cynthia, they do have more vibrant color than a lot of the colchicums I’ve discussed thus far. And don’t be too sure that you can’t grow colchicums in Texas. There are some colchicums that I can’t grow because it’s too cold here. Erica Bess Duncan lives in Texas, too, and on her garden blog ( recommends the book Garden Bulbs for the South by Scott Ogden. Perhaps you will find some colchicums listed in this book. If not, go to Odyssey Bulbs and ask Russell Stafford for recommendations.

Cynthia October 24, 2003, 12:15 pm

Kathy, these colchicum are the prettiest yet! I don’t know if it is just this picture as opposed to the previous close-ups or that they just seem to have more vibrant color!?
Sure wish that they would grow down in the hot, dry lands of TX.
Thanks again for the TX link that you sent me.