Colchicum ‘Violet Queen’ is also blooming now. It started a day or two after ‘Autumn Queen.’ Last year, ‘Violet Queen’ and ‘Autumn Herald’ bloomed at the same time. This year, VQ is blooming its head off, and AH has yet to make an appearance. I sure hope it’s not a goner. This year, I cut one blossom each of AQ and VQ, and yes, they are different. They both have the same bowl of white in the center, but AQ is tesselated, and to my eye, a deeper shade of the same color as VQ. In other words, if I was going to call one of them violet, it would be the one named ‘Autumn Queen,’ not the one named ‘Violet Queen,’ but it would still be a stretch, as they both seem to have too much pink in them to be called violet. I’d call them lavender, I think. (But maybe I’m the wrong person to ask. Talitha and I have had several arguments about color, most notably about her brother Arlan’s car, which I say is dark blue and she says is dark green.) And as Bryan notes, VQ does have distinctive orange anthers.
At any rate, both Queens are well worth the purchase price: large, showy, and increasing well. A good choice for the front of a hedge or shrub border. You will definitely be able to pick them out on the further side of the lawn.