Corm 1-2 cm in diameter, subglobose; outer tunics splitting into many parts, each with separate parallel fibres, inner tunics membranous. Cataphylls 3-5, white, sometimes with brownish, greenish or purplish veins at the tip. Leaves synanthous (7-) 10-20 ( 0.1-0.25 cm, green glabrous or subscabrid at the margins. Inflorescence 1-3-5- flowered cyme. Bract and bracteoles exerted from the cataphylls, c. 4-10 cm long. Flowers fragrant, vernal. Perianth tube (3-) 5-10 (-13) cm, yellow, purplish or bronze; segments 6, in 2 whorls subequal or inner slightly shorter and less acute, 2-3.5 ( 0.6-1.2 cm, elliptic to oblanceolate, subacute to obtuse. Stamens 3, filaments 4-6 mm long, glabrous or somewhat pubescent at the base, anthers 8-13 mm long, yellow. Style as long as or longer than the upper tip of the anthers, divided into 3 elongated stigmatic arms, terminating into expanded pipillose stigmas. Capsule 1.2-2.1 cm long, cylindrical, carried at or just below the ground level of maturity. Seeds c. 3 mm long, subglobose or ellipsoid or ( trigonous, reddish brown, 2n=20.
Fl. Per.: February-March.
Syntypes: In montibus Karatavicis prope Boroldai, Korolkow (LE); in Kokiniae valle flurrii Sarawschan in montibus Aksai, Samarkand Fedtschenko (LE); inter Tashkent et Karakati ad rivum Kly in solo argilloso, Korolkow & Krause (LE).
Distribution: Pakistan (Chitral), N. and E. Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Russia (northwards to Kara Tau mountains) (B. Mathew, l.c.).
An important ornamental plant in cold regions; it can be grown in sunny rock gardens. The flower colour variation with the external colour varying from nearly yellow to biscuit-coloured through all degrees of greyish, blackish-brown bronze or purplish brown to entirely deep bronze (B. Mathew, l.c.) is probably the main virtue.