meadow saffron

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Related to meadow saffrons: Colchicum autumnale, autumn crocus

meadow saffron

or

autumn crocus,

perennial garden ornamental (Colchicum autumnale) of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family). Native to Europe and N Africa, it has escaped from gardens to meadows and fields in some parts of the United States. Its poisonous corms and seeds were the source of the drug colchicinecolchicine
, alkaloid extracted from plants of the genus Colchicum and especially from the corms of the autumn crocus, Colchicum autumnale (see meadow saffron).
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. The purplish flowers, which bloom in the fall when the leaves are gone, resemble those of the true crocus and true saffron (of the irisiris,
common name for members of the genus Iris of the Iridaceae, a family of perennial herbs that includes the crocuses, freesias, and gladioli. The family is characterized by thickened stem organs (bulbs, corms, and rhizomes) and by linear or sword-shaped
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 family) but have six stamens instead of three. Other species of Colchicum are also popular garden plants. Meadow saffron is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.