naked boys

Arnold Trachtenberg
Mon, 26 Jul 2004 18:04:14 PDT
   The appearance of the large crocus-like flower at the front of 
flowerbeds about this time of year stirs such contemplations. Some 
neophytes swear they must be artificial. In shades of pink, purple and 
mauve; surely they are made of silk? Botanists dubbed them for that part 
of the south shore of the Black Sea from which they arose in antiquity: 
Colchicum. Gardeners, a notoriously less formal crowd, variously know 
them as either “Naked Ladies” or “Naked Boys.” Presumably the choice is 
directed by their proclivities. Plant them now for a display in fall of 
2001. Buy one or two extra and leave them on your desk. Within a few 
days blooms will spring forth to amaze your co-workers. No pot, soil or 
water is necessary. You should be aware though that they are poisonous.

Colchicum (autumn crocus, Naked boys, Meadow saffron) 	Colchicum sp.
+Dog tooth violet (Adder's tongue, Trout lily)

Naked Ladies all over the garden!

Several types of hardy Colchicum are available these days through garden 
centers and specialty mail order bulb firms. Many gardeners still call 
these Autumn Crocus, but that name is more correctly used for the 
fall-flowering true Crocus species and selections. Naked Ladies or Naked 
Boys are two slightly cheeky names that are sometimes applied to these 
delightful fall bloomers, or just plain old Colchicum (KOL-chi-kum) for 
the faint-of-heart.

Colchicum 	Autumn crocus, Naked Boys or Naked Ladies 	Leek like clumps 
of green leaves in spring die back for summer. Flowers like large crocus 
in shades of pink or white or mauve leap out of the ground in September. 
Good under deciduous trees or shrubs.

I couldn't make this stuff up!


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