Becher's Crocus

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Becher's Crocus' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Becher's Crocus' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Becher's Crocus' page
Photo:At Holme Pierrepont

At Holme Pierrepont

Notts Biodiversity Action Group

Crocus nudiflorus identified by Southwell man

Crocus nudiflorus (Autumn crocus)

In Howitt's Flora of Nottinghamshire (p191) it is stated that "the Rev. J.T. Becher first discovered this to be a distinct species".

 In Thomas Ordoyno's "Flora Nottinghamiensis" (Newark: Ridge, 1807; p.19) it is stated that

NAKED FLOWERING CROCUS: In meadows; very rare.  Between Nottingham Castle and the Trent.  The Rev. J.T. Becher of SOUTHWELL ascertained this plant to be a distinct species, and it was immediately admitted as such bt Dr. SMITH.  The fact, however, has since been indisputably confirmed by Mr. Ordoyno of Coddington, who has raised both this and the preceding species from seeds.  For more than a century these beautiful plants have enamelled the Nottingham meadows; and the COLCHICUM COMMUNE of Deering proves, according to Mr. BECHER's suggestion, to be our CROCUS NUDIFLORUS

 It was from Becher's specimen that the illustration in Sir J.E. Smith's seminal English Botany (1790-1813 - Vol.7, table 491) was made by James Sowerby (See picture)

Added in longhand to the copy of Ordoyno's book held at Newark public library is the following annotation:-

Crocus Nudiflorus: Also in a small close on the left hand side of Wood Lane, going from Nottm. to St.Annes [sic] Well, before you come to the fields thro' which the foot way passes; - sparingly in 1820.

Note: in a collection of dried plants made byTutin (who assisted Deering) there is a specimen of crocus nudiflorus labelled 'calchicum'.  This collection is now in the possession of Mr M. Roe.


Conservation Status

Today (2014) it is believed that the autumn crocus occurs naturally in just 9 sites in the county*

The Notts Biodiversity Action Group has identified the species as a Local Biodiversity Action Plan species for Nottinghamshire, meaning that it has been identified as a species of high value within the county and that work is being undertakento help to conserve it.. 

* Although it is also known to be present at a further eleven sites where it has been deliberately introduced in recent years


For more about crocus nudiflorus in Notts clicke HERE

This page was added by Website Administrator on 29/07/2014.

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