Colchicum Autumnale


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How can it be 1st October already??! Before time runs away from me even more and the moment passes, here is something that we did in September.

We have Colchicum Autumnale, also known as Autumn Crocus, Meadow Saffron or even Naked Ladies, in one of our fields and we continue the work of the previous owners in counting the flowers each Autumn and passing on the numbers to the county recorder for the Botanical Society for Great Britain and Ireland.

These pretty wild flowers are rare nowadays but ours survive and thrive because the field has not been ploughed for years and years. The leaves appear in the Spring and the flowers in the Autumn, creating an eye-catching purple display in the grass. They have even made their way to the seed bank at Kew Gardens after a botanist from Kew came to harvest some seeds from our fields two years ago.

The plant is highly toxic to humans and animals, especially cattle and horses but our sheep seem to leave them well alone, except that they trample them! One sunny Sunday afternoon in September, before we returned our three Shetland ewes to that field, we went to count them.

We are happy to contribute to the local botany records in this way and proud to have these rare wildflowers on our land.