Sadly, colchicum cultivars are very mixed up in the trade. The pretty flower above was sold to me as ‘Autumn Herald’, but when I go to the Pacific Bulb Society website, I see that ‘Autumn Herald’ looks entirely different. And I have other colchicums with other names that look like my ‘Autumn Herald’. It is a good thing that not knowing the correct name of a flower does not prevent you from enjoying it.Colchicum agrippinum is one of the smaller flowered colchicums in my collection. I have to be careful to provide it with good drainage or it fails to come back after winter. I don’t mind going to the trouble because I like to see the tessellation. The tricky thing about Colchicum byzantinum is that it is white when it first emerges, and gradually colors up. It was growing in the totally neglected garden of my former home when we first moved there, so must be hard to kill. And it makes lots of new bulbs. It would be a good one to start with. They say ‘Nancy Lindsay’ is a selection of C. autumnale, but it is hard for me to believe, as ‘Nancy Lindsay’ seems far more vigorous and larger as well.‘Poseidon’ and ‘Nancy Lindsay’ share one thing in common: they both have a purple perianth tube. You see, colchicums don’t have stems above the ground. What holds them up is the same stuff the petals are made of. In most colchicums that tube is white, but some lucky ones have a pink to deep reddish purple tube. I am always on the lookout for new cultivars with purple tubes. Otherwise, ‘Nancy Lindsay’ is dainty compared to ‘Poseidon’.
Those are the new ones that have opened in the past week. More are coming; I see their pointy buds poking out of the ground. Come back next week and I’ll show you some more.