This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A small genus of Autumn-flowering bulbous herbs allied to the preceding genus. Leaves not appearing till Spring, larger and broader than in Crocus or Bulbocodium. The ovary is underground, and is not visible until borne aloft by the growing leaves in Spring. The ancient Greek name.
1. C. autumnale. Meadow Saffron. - A native of many parts of England, though nowhere very abundant. Flowers usually pale purple, but there are variously-striped varieties and also a white variety in cultivation. This is sometimes called Autumn Crocus, from its resemblance; but besides its technical characters, the long flat leaves are sufficient to distinguish it from that genus. It furnishes the drug of the same name.