A cormous perennial herb of damp grassy places, including damp meadows and river banks, but most frequently encountered in clearings and rides within woodland, as it is toxic to livestock and often destroyed when found in grazed situations. Lowland.
C. autumnale had been lost from most of its outlying sites before 1930 because of loss of habitat. Further losses have occurred since then, especially from meadows, but it remains frequent within its core area. This showy flower is popular in gardens, and readily becomes naturalised when planted or discarded into suitable habitats.
European Temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 6
Moisture (Ellenberg): 6
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.8
Annual Precipitation (mm): 809
Height (cm): 35
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 301
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 10
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.14
Atlas text references
1954. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 42. Colchicum autumnale L. Journal of Ecology. 42:249-257.
1988. The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
1996. Flora Britannica.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.