There are about 45 species in the Colchicum genus. They are cormous perennials from alpine and subalpine meadows and stony hillsides in Europe, North Africa, Western and Central Asia, Northern India, and Western China.
They flower naked, meaning before the leaves have emerged. The flowers are a welcome addition to the fall garden. Leaves emerge in spring and then go dormant during summer. The leaves are unspectacular.
Plants in this genus contain toxic amounts of the alkaloid colchicine.
Name Derivation: Derives from the Greek colchis that is a region in modern Georgia
Common Name: autumn crocus, meadow saffron
Colchicum is in the family Colchicaceae.