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 ?
IT'S A RARE EXCITEMENT TO FIND SOMETHING NEW THRUSTING THROUGH THE EARTH IN AUTUMN AND THAT'S JUST ONE REASON TO LOVE COLCHICUMS.
A few nurseries offer colchicums for sale in pots, but it is best to select plants in flower.
Colchicum are known for their ability to thrive in shade and are good planted with woodlanders such as Anemone nemorosa.
Elsewhere in the garden a swathe of collapsed aconitums was hiding the sudden annual appearance of a group of colchicum flowers.
Colchicums produce masses of two foot tall foliage in spring and are only really suited to borders and fronts of shrubberies, never on rock gardens where they will swamp other spring gems.
Colchicums like well drained soil in sun or light shade.
Naked ladies is one of the common names for autumn flowering bulbs more correctly called Colchicums.
There are also delightful autumn-flowering species - true autumn crocuses, not to be confused with colchicums.
A PIECE of garden magic to which I always look forward is the virtual overnight appearance of the colchicums.
Autumn colour is provided with Colchicums, spring with daffodils and the summer with lilies supported as they grow through the rhododendrons.
Top sellers include autumn-flowering colchicums, Yoder mums, Michaelmas daisies (Aster novi-belgii) and 'Miracle' cyclamen as well as the day-glo dyed bud heathers.
The flower list is considerable, ranging from anemones to tropical canna lilies, every shape and form of chrysanthemums, dahlias and blue liriopes, sedums for butterflies, toad lilies and colchicums.