Saturday, October 27, 2018

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn crocus)


Colchicum autumnale, commonly known as autumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked ladies, is an autumn-blooming flowering plant that resembles the true crocuses, but is a member of the Colchicaceae plant family, unlike the true crocuses. In Russia it is called 'Timeless crocus'.


The bulb-like corms of Colchicum autumnale contain colchicine, a useful drug with a narrow therapeutic index. Colchicine is approved by the US FDA for the treatment of gout and familial Mediterranean fever.  


Autumn crocus is an interesting plant. Its seed, bulb, and flower are used to make medicine. Autumn crocus is used for arthritis, gout, and an inherited disease.
All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb, are poisonous. They cause vomiting, serious inflammation of the stomach and bowels, and even death. Handling the corms can cause skin allergies in some people.
A Colchicum autumnale bulb is hardy to zone 5. The plant is in leaf from February to July, in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen from April to June. It is pollinated by bees, flies. 

 


Though known since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, autumn crocus was considered too poisonous to use medicinally and it was not until research in the 18th century that the plant was discovered to be of value in the treatment of gout. Both the corm and the seeds are analgesic, anti-rheumatic.
Colchicum prefers a rich well-drained loam in a sunny position. Tolerates to partial shadow but dislikes dry soils, is hardy to about -20°c. The autumn crocus is easily grown in grass, among shrubs and by woodland edges. I grow it among tuyas.
 
Do you have Colchicum in your garden? Are you careful doing with it?


source: 'Plants For A Future'


40 comments:

  1. The answer is "No, we do not have this beautiful flower in our garden." In fact it is new to me. I am sure it is very pleasing at this time of year when winter is looming.

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    1. Yes, it is David. Winter is coming, forecast the first snow and the last flowers glad me.

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  2. Oh yes, I have a couple varieties of this sweet plant in my garden and it's a favorite of mine. There were many growing here when we moved to this house 21 years ago and I've moved them around and added more. They're a cheerful autumn bloomer. Happy fall!

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    1. Oh, you have different varieties of Colchicum, Peter. I didn't know about, should read more :-)

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  3. Preciosas fotos Nadezda, las flores preciosas, aquí también hay y las llamamos Quitameriendas. Feliz día. Besos.

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    1. Quitameriendas! Me encanta ese nombre para Colchicum, Lola. Gracias!

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  4. Hello dear Nadezda!

    Beautiful Autumn crocus! I had them before, but now they have dissapperared. I must buy them again next year.
    Happy Weekend!

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    1. I noticed the same problem, Marit, colchicum bulbs may disappear, perhaps a gardener like me digs them and forgets where they are.

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  5. Beautiful crocus! I've never seen crocus in person, I think they need colder climate to bloom. Happy weekend and autumn Nadezda!

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  6. Son muy bonitos. Feliz fin de semana.

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  7. Beautiful flowers! Have a nice weekend

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  8. Niin kaunis myrkkylilja. Pitäisi hankkia niitä omaankin puutarhaan.

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  9. Надежда,прекрасный осенний цветок!! У меня такого нет,,нужно приобрести.Спасибо за объемную информацию.

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    1. Я думаю что безвременник у вас в саду есть, Надежда. Наверно, плохой перевлд у гугла, вы не поняли. Он красив особенно осенью, когда остальные цветы уже закончили цветение.

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  10. A beautiful flower, such a lovely colour.

    All the best Jan

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  11. I have couple of spring blooming Colchicums in my garden but no fall blooming. I find the leaves bit too fuzzy. But blooms are really beautiful, that is true.

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    1. I didn't know that Colchicum flowers in spring, because mine have only leaves in spring, Tistou. And yes, its leaves aren't too nice.

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  12. What a beautiful flower ....
    Good entry for the month of November.

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  13. They are so beautiful! I have always found Colchicum fascinating, but I don't have them in my garden.
    Thank you for your comment today. Yes, Markku Ropponen is from Jyväskylä. It seems, unfortunately, that his novels haven't been translated into English, only in German.

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    1. Kiitos, Sara. Now Colchicum has the last flowers, so till next spring when its leaves start their growth.

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  14. Hello Dear Nadezda!
    Beautiful autumn crocuses. I like these flowers. I also have them in the garden.
    Lovely photos.
    Happy weekend.
    Lucja

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  15. They are flowers so beautiful and so colorful.
    Magnificent photos.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Warm regards
    Maria
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

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    1. I'm pleased you liked my photos, Maria.
      Hugs!

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  16. Bellissimi i tuoi colchicum, complimenti! Li piantai anni fa ma morirono per qualche ragione ma quest'anno ci ho riprovato :)

    Buona serata :)

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    1. Sì, devi riprovare, spero che coltiverai Colchicum nel tuo giardino, pontos.

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  17. Beautiful wild crocuses, Nadezda. I did not know they were medicinal.
    I wish you a happy November!

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    1. Thank you, Tania. Hope November is warm in your place.
      Hugs!

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  18. I love the idea of calling colchiums 'timeless crocus'. Yours are so pretty. Mine didn't bloom this fall. I think the stress of drought might have caused this. I am hoping they return next fall. This happened one other time so I am hoping they aren't actually dead.

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    1. Sure colchicum bulbs are viable enough Lisa. The same problem happened to my bulbs three years ago. They came back in many places:-), because I dug soil around tujas and transported it in other places, with small colchicum bulbs I think so.

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