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 ?
Most of the showy colchicums that grace our autumn gardens are hybrids of colchicum speciosum.
On the other hand, colchicums with bare legs - their popular name is naked ladies - look shockingly nude.
A These are autumn crocus or Colchicums which you plant now and will flower in September/October.
Although they resemble crocuses, colchicums are more closely related to lilies.
While Colchicums resemble Crocus flower-wise, they have much larger bulbs and should not really be called Autumn Crocus.
Colchicums are also known as Naked Ladies because their flowers appear before the leaves so on "naked" stems.
Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as Colchicums and Crocus speciosus for September and October flowering.
Although colchicums look like crocuses, they are actually members of the lily family and not a type of crocus.
The green glossy leaves of the Colchicums appear in the spring, then the flowers follow on their own at this time of year.
This ancient quarry garden is a bit of a frost pocket, with good autumn displays of acers and colchicums.
There are also delightful autumn-flowering species - true autumn crocuses, not to be confused with colchicums.