jeudi 16 novembre 2017

Black Mountain saffron

Crocus nudiflorus

Crocus nudiflorus is a species of flowering plant in the genus Crocus of the family Iridaceae, like saffron or the poisonous colchicum.
In an average autumn C. nudiflorus starts producing its elegant imperial purple flowers, without foliage (hence the epithet) in mid-September. A succession of flowers then keeps the show going for several weeks. The species can produce some variability in the brilliance of its purple colouring. The very dark purple forms are particularly dramatic, especially when the blooms have well developed vibrant orange or sometimes white styles.
This species frequents moist pastures, alpine meadows or clearings in mixed woodlands. I found it in a pasture on top of the Black Mountain.
This plant is found from southwestern France to Spain. Crocus nudiflorus has become naturalised in several localities in the UK. Such sites invariably having a historical connection with the Order of the Knights of St. John or Jerusalem, the corms were probably introduced as an alternative source of saffron.

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