The Autumn Crocus or Meadow Saffron looks like the Spring Crocus. The flowers appear in autumn first, and then the leaves much later, so the plant is also known as the Naked Lady.
Colchicum plants are deadly poisonous because of their colchine contents and there is no known antidote
Saffron is derived from the flower, having three stigmas or threads that are collected and dried. A few strands of saffron colours risottos, rice pudding, curries and stews. It is the world’s most costly spice by weight
In the 16th and 17th centuries the crocus was widely grown in Walden, Essex, thanks to the town’s favourable soil and climate. The flower being precious was used in medicines, as a condiment, in perfume, as an aphrodisiac, and as a yellow colouring. The industry gave Walden its name Saffron Walden.