This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Bulbocodium Vernum. Vernal Bulbocodium.
Corolla infundibuliformis, hexapetala: unguibus angustis staminiferis. Capsula supera.
BULBOCODIUM vernum foliis lanceolatis. Linn. Syst. Veg. ed. 14. Murr. p. 320. Ait. Hort. Kew. v. 1. p. 421. Retz. Obs. Bot. Fasc. 2. t. 1.
COLCHICUM vernum hispanicum. Bauh. Pin. 69. Medowe Saffron of the spring. Park. Parad. p. 158-159. f. 7.
The excellent and learned Clusius, in the second appendix to his history of rare plants, gives a very good figure of this plant, both in flower and seed, accompanied with its history; our Parkinson also represents it in his Parad. terr. and gives such a minute description of it, as convinces us he must have cultivated it at the time he wrote: Mr. Miller appears not to have been well acquainted with it, or he would not have described its root to be like that of the Snowdrop; had he said Colchicum, he would not have misled: Retzius also in his Bot. Obs. gives a figure of it with the flower dissected.
The Bulbocodium, of which there is only one species, is a mountainous plant, a native of Spain, and flowers in the open ground at the same time as the Crocus, for a purple variety of which it might easily be mistaken at first sight; but it differs from the Crocus in having six stamina, and from the Colchicum, to which it is very nearly allied, in having one style instead of three.
It is at present a rare plant in our gardens, which we attribute to its bulbs not admitting of much increase, as well as to its being liable to be killed by frost, and hence requiring more care than it may be thought entitled to from its appearance.
It varies in the colour of its flowers.