Colchicum


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Related to Colchicum: colchicine

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 ?
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.
Although they resemble crocuses, colchicums are more closely related to lilies.
More subtle are the little Colchicum agrippinum, which remind me of fritillaries with their mottled petals.
Underplanting with autumn flowering Colchicum 'Water Lily' and spring flowering crocuses will afford successional colour for many months.
I am talking about Autumn flowering bulbs and especially Colchicum and Crocus.
Late summer and Autumn: Anemone, Aster, Colchicum, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Buddleia, Persicaria, Sedum, Hedera.
A Autumn crocus and colchicum will be available in most garden centres early August.
The delightful, if rather transitory, Colchicum autumnale, autumn crocus, has a list of medicinal uses for its corms and seeds that will rival any modern antibiotic but, be warned - even when you plant the corms in midsummer they may cause an allergic reaction with some people's skin - wear gloves when handling the corms
The common snowdrop, galanthus, colchicum, hyacinths and ornithogalum all have toxins concentrated in bulbs, that extracted from another, sea squill, is used to make rat poison.
Autumn crocus, meadow saffron and naked ladies are all common names for the same species, our native Colchicum autumnale which is not a crocus at all but belongs in the lily family.
Easy Plant colchicum bulbs now for large, crocus-like flowers in autumn.