This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Corms a trifle thicker than in No. 5: leaves 3-4, 6-9 in. long, 12-15 lines wide, margin wavy: flowers 2-4 from each spathe. F.S. 11:1153. - This is a marked form of C. variegatum, of garden origin, which has similar flowers, but a more robust habit and more nearly erect leaves
ee. Margin of leaves flat, not wavy.
Leaves 6-9, nearly 1 ft. long, 9-15 lines wide, rather hooded at the apex, margin flat, not wavy: flowers 1-6 from each spathe, rose-purple faintly checkered with a darker color, 4-6 in. long. Medit. region. variety superbum, Hort., an excellent form, is advertised in English catalogues. F.S.R. 1:108.
Easily distinguished from Nos. 5, 7, and 8 by the much broader segments of the perianth, and by the leaves, which are nearly erect, obtuse, and not at all wavy: leaves 5-6, dull green, finally 1 ft. or more long, 1 1/2-2 1/2 in. wide, narrowed gradually to the base: spathe striped with green, and tinged with lilac at the tip: flowers 1-5 from each spathe; perianth-tube often 6 in. long. Mts. of Greece. B.M. 7181. F.S.R. 1:108. -A large, cup-shaped flower, showing no open spaces between the broad, overlapping segments Very handsome.
bb. Perianth not tessellated.
c. Size of flowers large, 8 in. or more across.
d. Leaves broad, 3-4 in. wide.
E. Number of flowers 1-4.
thick, the largest of the genus: stem 1 ft. high: leaves 4-5, 12-15 in. long, 3-4 in. wide, narowed from the middle to the base, shining green: flowers 1-4 from each spathe, violet, with a white eye, but varying almost to pure pink, often 6 in. across. Caucasus. B.M. 6078. F.S. 23:2385. F.M. 1876:235. Gn. 11:80. - Commonly considered the finest species of the genus; blooms Sept. and Oct. variety maximum, Hort. Plant 7 1/2 in. high.
ee. Number of flowers 12-20.
Closely allied to the above, but with wider leaves, smaller and paler flowers, and broad, short anthers: stem 6 in. high: leaves 5-6, oblong, dark green, striate, 9-12 in. long, 3-4 in. wide: flowers smaller than in No. 10, usually 3-4 in. across, lilac-purple, and often 12-20 from each spathe. Transylvania and Constantinople. B.M. 1122. - Corn large, depressed. C. cilicicum, Hort., has rosy flowers, somewhat tessellated. G.C. III. 23:35.
dd. Leaves narrow, 1-2 in. wide.
Leaves elliptic-lanceolate, 3-4 in. long, 1-2 in. broad: flowers 8 in. long and 5 in. across, the limb pale rose or lilac-rose at first, subsequently deeper purple, the corolla-tube white. Asia Minor. Early spring. - One of the rarest and finest of the group, suitable for the rock-garden.
Fig. 1026; 442, p. 433. stem 3-4 in. high: leaves 3-4, rarely 5-6, 9-12 in. long, 1 1/2-2 in. wide: flowers 1-4, rarely 5-6, from each spathe, purple, with a white variety, about 4 in. across; perianth veined. Eu. and N. Africa B.M. 2673 (as C. crociflorum). -Possibly the commonest in the American trade. It has beautiful double forms in purple and pure white. F.S. 19:1936.
Fig. 1026. Colchicum autumnale. (X 1/3) cc. Tessellation less distinct.
Corm ovate, membranaceous: lower leaves broadly lanceolate, the upper ones narrower and acutish, entire, 1-1 1/2 in. broad: flowers pale-rose, or flesh-colored, the tube elongate-elliptic, the stamens a little shorter than the perianth; anthers yellow, linear; style only slightly exceeding the stamens. N. Africa and the eastern Medit. region. Nov-Jan. - Planted in masses with C. crociflorum for rock-gardens, it is very effective.
cc. Size of flowers small, about 2 in. across.
d. Number of flowers from each spathe more than 1 or 2.
E. Perianth-segments acute.
Corm medium-sized: leaves 3-4, 6-12 in. long, 9-12 fines wide, dark green above: flowers 4-5 or even 12, lilac-purple, about 2 in. across; perianth segments lanceolate-acute. Cyprus. B.M. 6901 shows a pure white variety.
Corm oblong: leaves 5-7, broadly lanceolate, channeled, the apex acutish, frequently ciliate, about 1 in. wide: flowers many, in clusters, the corolla 2 1/2 in.long, white, 6-10-nerved; stamens equaling the corolla, but slightly exceeded by the style branches. Feb. Syria.
ee. Perianth-segments obtuse.
Corm small: leaves 4-5, 6-9 in. long, 9-12 fines wide: flowers 1-5 from each spathe, lilac, about 2 in. across; perianth-segments oblanceolate, obtuse, with 8-12 veins. Caucasus.
dd. Number of flowers from each spathe 1 or 2.
(C. montanum. All. not Linn.). Leaves 2, rarely 3, nearly erect or spreading, 4-8 in. long, 3-6 lines wide, obtuse, channeled, shining green, narrowed from the middle to the base: flowers 1 or 2 from each spathe, about 2 in. across, lilac; segments oblanceolate, obtuse, 3-4 lines wide, with 10-15 veins. Mts. of France and Switzerland.
C. giganteum, Hort. A plant with magnificent pink flowers - Is not certainly referable to any species. The name appears in several catalogues, but is unknown in botanical literature. See F.S.R. 1:108. - C. hydrophilum, Hort. An early spring - flowering species; bulb size of a walnut: leaves and flowers appearing together, the flowers bright clear rose and taller than the leaves, the latter growing after the flowers are gone and attaining a length of 6 in.; flowers in clusters of 3-15; stamens half as long as the segments Taurus Mts. G.C. III. 29:102. - C. sieheanum, Hort. A late autumn-flowering species with rich reddish purple flowers Asia Minor. - C. veratrifdlium, Hort. Similar to some of the forms of C. speciosum, but earlier in flowering.