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Uses

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb[1], are poisonous[2][3][4][5][6]. They cause vomiting, violent purging, serious inflammation of the stomach and bowels, and death[7]. Handling the corms can cause skin allergies in some people[8].

Edible uses

There are no edible uses listed for Colchicum luteum.

Material uses

The following notes are for C. autumnale. Since this plant also contains colchicine it can be assumed that it has the same uses[K]. The poisonous alkaloid 'colchicine' is extracted from this plant and used to alter the genetic make-up of plants in an attempt to find new, improved varieties[9]. It works by doubling the chromosome number[10].
There are no material uses listed for Colchicum luteum.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The corms are alterative, aphrodisiac, carminative and laxative[11]. They are used in India to treat gout, rheumatism and diseases of the liver and spleen[11]. They contain the toxic alkaloid 'colchicine' which is used externally to relieve pain[12][11]. The dried corms contain around 0.25% colchicine and the seed about 0.4%[11].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early summer in a seed bed or a cold frame[13][14]. Germination can be very slow, taking up to 18 months at 15°c[14]. It is best to sow the seed thinly so that it is not necessary to transplant the seedlings for their first year of growth. Apply a liquid fertilizer during their first summer, however, to ensure they get sufficient nourishment. Prick out the seedlings once they are dormant, putting perhaps 2 plants per pot, and grow them on in a greenhouse or frame for at least a couple of years. Plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant[K]. The seedlings take 4 - 5 years to reach flowering size[13]. Division of the bulbs in June/July when the leaves have died down[13]. Larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out. The plant can be divided every other year if a quick increase is required[13].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Colchicum luteum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a rich well-drained loam that does not dry out rapidly in summer[13]. Requires a very sunny position[15].

This species is hardy to at least -15°c[1]. Plants can take 4 - 5 years to flower when grown from seed[14].

Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[16].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Colchicum luteum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Colchicum luteum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Colchicum luteum
Genus
Colchicum
Family
Colchicaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
  • Unknown part (Alterative)
  • Unknown part (Anodyne)
  • Unknown part (Aphrodisiac)
  • Unknown part (Carminative)
  • Unknown part (Laxative)
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    ?
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? Altmann. H. Poisonous Plants and Animals. Chatto and Windus ISBN 0-7011-2526-8 (1980-00-00)
    5. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (1983-00-00)
    6. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. ISBN 0-333-55581-3 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Niebuhr. A. D. Herbs of Greece. Herb Society of America. (1970-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Polunin. O. and Huxley. A. Flowers of the Mediterranean. Hogarth Press ISBN 0-7012-0784-1 (1987-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Coventry. B. O. Wild Flowers of Kashmir Raithby, Lawrence and Co. (1923-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    15. ? Phillips. R. and Rix. M. Bulbs Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30253-1 (1989-00-00)
    16. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)