Meadow saffron (Colchicum Autumnale). Called naked because, like the almond, peach, etc., the flowers come out before the leaves. It is poetically called “the leafless orphan of the year,” the flowers being orphaned or destitute of foliage. Some call it “Naked Boy,” and the “Naked Boy Courts” of London were places where meadow saffron was sold.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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