Corm up to 2 x 2 cm, subglobose to ovoid; tunic dark brown, membranous to subcoriaceous, with long neck. Leaves 3-6(-8), up to 1-3(-4) cm at anthesis, up to 14 cm x 1-2(-5) mm at maturity, filiform to narrowly linear, obtuse to acute, glabrous, sometimes ciliate. Flowers 1-4(5); perianth- segments 10-20 x 1.5-2(-3) mm, pinkish-lilac to white, linear-elliptical, obtuse. Filaments up to 8 mm, glabrous or sometimes hairy at the base; anthers 1.5-3(-4.5) mm, purplish-black to grey or pale brown, less often yellow; pollen yellow. Styles straight; stigmas punctiform. Capsule c. 3 mm.
Anther-colour varies considerably in different populations, those from Kriti being grey (occasionally yellow), those from the Peloponnisos purplish-black, and those from the Kikladhes pale brown. Plants from the mountains of Kriti, with slightly larger anthers and with the leaves frequently developing after anthesis, have been distinguished as C. cretense W. Greuter, Candollea 22: 246 (1967). The extent to which the leaves are developed at anthesis varies considerably in 5, and plants from high altitudes can change in respect of this character in cultivation in the lowlands. C. peloponnesiacum Rech. fil. & P. H. Davis, Ísterr. Bot. Zeitschr. 95: 427 (1949), described from S. Greece (Peloponnisos), has affinities with Colchicum pusillum and is characterized by the yellow anthers and bright purplish-pink, lanceolate perianth-segments up to 30 x 9 mm. It is also closely related to C. stevenii Kunth, Enum. Pl. 4: 144 (1843), from S.W. Asia. The relationships of this group of plants are uncertain and in need of critical study.
Flowering October to November.