Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, October  2017
 Colchicum cupanii - by Liam McCaughey
At this time of year, the big floppy colchicums come up, and then fall over at the first change in the weather. Years ago we took delight on a stay in France, to tell the (then) teenage son there were Naked Ladies in the field just along the road what a disappointment !

But there are more delicate members of the genus, and we saw several of these in the Peloponnese last autumn. Here is the small and delicate Colchicum cupanii, growing at the roadside in the north of the Peloponnesian peninsula about 5cm in height. 

Common around the Mediterranean basin, it is also known as Mediterranean meadow saffron.
It is in cultivation, and to get an idea of how small it is, look at Ian Young's bulblog - Click Here )

 

It is named for Francesco Cupani, a seventeenth century Italian botanist from Palermo, who worked on plant classification in the days before Linnaeus.