Colchicum


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colchicum

[′käl·chi·kəm]
(botany)
Any plant of the genus Colchicum, a part of the lily family (mainly the autumn crocus).

Colchicum

 

a genus of perennial herbs of the family Liliaceae. They are plants with a short stem and a corm. The flowers (one to eight) are large and of various colors. The plants of some species flower in late autumn and bear fruit (pods) the following spring; hence the name—Russian bezvremennik, zimovnik (autumn crocus). There are about 60 species, mainly in the Mediterranean countries, in Iran, and as far east as northern India. In the USSR there are ten species, mostly in the foothills and mountains of the Caucasus and some in the Crimea and Middle Asia. The autumn crocus contains alkaloids in its seeds and corm: colchicine, used in genetics and selection for artificially obtaining polyploids and in medicine for treating gout; and deacetyl-methylcolchicine (colchamine), used in the treatment of some diseases of the blood and a number of malignant tumors. Many autumn crocuses, including the showy autumn crocus (C. speciosum) and common autumn crocus, or meadow saffron (C. autumnale), are raised as decorative plants.

REFERENCE

Zakhariadi, K. A., and Z. T. Artiushenko. “Sistematika i mor-fologiia nekotorykh vidov roda Colchicum L. iugo-vostochnoi Evropy i Kavkaza.” Botanicheskii zhurnal, 1968, vol. 53, no. 3.

M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Copeman, the disappearance of colchicum was a case of Renaissance philosophy influencing medical treatments.
The period of dormancy for colchicum is so brief that dry bulbs may have been hanging around for a long time and it is always better to buy plants in active growth.
BIt's a rare excitement to find something new thrusting through the earth in autumn, and that's just one reason to love colchicums.
Although colchicums look like crocuses, they are actually members of the lily family and not a type of crocus.
Best of all are 'Waterlily', a sumptuous double, and Colchicum speciosum 'Album', a rare and lovely white.
A PIECE of garden magic to which I always look forward is the virtual overnight appearance of the colchicums.
The common snowdrop, Galanthus, and Colchicum, Hyacinths and Ornithogalum all have toxins in their bulbs, while sea squill bulbs are used in rat poison.
A These will be autumn crocus or Colchicum and are bought and planted as bulbs in late summer.
Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade) n Colchicum autumnale (autumn crocus, meadow saffron) Conium maculatum (hemlock) n Daphne mezereum (mezereon) Datura stamonium (Jimsonweed) Digitalis purpurea (foxglove) Laburnum Oenanthe crocata (hemlock water dropwort
10 Plant autumn- flowering crocus and colchicum bulbs as soon as possible.
The mauvy-pink Colchicum autumnal is one we have here in quantity, under an oak tree.
Colchicum bulbs, flowers and foliage are all extremely toxic if ingested and can cause serious skin irritation.