Can anyone please ID this gorgeous flower for me? It was growing by the side of the road on the edge of a small patch of woodland. I actually turned my car around and went back to have a look after spotting it. I've never seen anything like it although it did remind me of a large purple crocus. Any help would be great, thanks!
your flower is The Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) - that's a misleading common name as it's not really a crocus but does look similar - it is an uncommon native plant of open calcareous woodlands which can persist in meadows, etc.The flowers arise in clusters from the biggish corm, the broad leaves appearing in the spring.