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Autumn Crocus or Meadow Saffron - Long Wood and Velvet Bottom, August 2004

It's not actually a crocus - common names aren't always a good indicator. Colchicum autumnale is a member of the Lily family.
The plants are poisonous but apparently not the usual source* of Colchicine which is used in biochemical research and is definitely present in the bulbs. Colchicine has been used (and may still be) for the treatment of gout.
Nor is this flower the source of Saffron - see Crocus sativus for that !)

Mendip scenery 

Velvet Bottom, growing amongst bracken on a south facing meadow.

Mendip fauna

More Autumn Crocus click here

Autumn Crocus in close up


The site in the spring, bracken has died back and the Autumn Crocus leaves are dominant among bluebells. (There is no confusing "Autumn Crocus" with real crocuses when the leaves are out.)

* Gloriosa Superba is used.

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J R Crellin 2004