The colors of Colchicum flowers

David Ehrlich
Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:53:59 PST
What makes Colchicum so different?  I have found similar problems with many 
plants.  Last Spring I ordered some arillate Irises from ASI.  I found that not 
infrequently the descriptions and the color photographs differed by so much I 
wondered whether they were describing the same plant.  There are adequate 
reasons for these differences: of course, the lighting; surprisingly, also, the 
background; color names used by the describer might be interpreted as a rather 
different color by the reader; adjectives like deep, long, narrow, etc. have 
always been problematic at best.

Unlike you, I have found the best time to photograph to be on slightly overcast 
days, when the flower is evenly lit; the colors stay put; and don't overwhelm.  
But that's a personal preference.

David E.

From: Jim McKenney <>
It isn't easy for me to describe the colors of colchicums, and I've found that 
printed descriptions and catalog illustrations are frequently misleading. Even 
carefully done photographs can be misleading, at least in the sense that the 
apparent color of a colchicum flower depends on the light conditions.  ... as 
Bowles pointed out long ago, seen in the low sunlight of late afternoon they can 
be wonderful indeed.

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