This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is meadows and woods. The plant has the lily habit, with tuberous root-stock. The leaves are vernal, the flowers autumnal, rarely vernal. The leaves are smooth and dark-green, lance-shaped, flat, erect, with close nerves. The sheath is long, large, and stout. The radical flowers are purple, the tube 2-6 in. long, and the ovary, buried in winter in the ground, rises up with the leaves in spring. The anthers are large, yellow, and there are 6 stamens (in Crocus 3). The capsule is 1 1/2 in. long, membranous, 3-grooved, shortly stalked, acute at both extremities. The brown seeds are small and numerous. The plant is 6-12 in. in height. The plant is in flower from August till October. It is a herbaceous perennial.