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Pakistan | Family List | Colchicaceae | Colchicum

Colchicum luteum Baker in Gard. Chron. 7:34. 1874. Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 6:356.1892; Bamber, Pl. Punj. 444.1916; Coventry, Wild Fl. Kashm. 1:101. t. 50.1923; Cherny in Komarov, Fl. URSS. 4:28.1935; Mehra & Khoshoo in J. Pharmacy and Pharmacol. 3:486.1951; R.R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. and Kashm. 50.1972.

Vern.: ‘Surinjan talakh’.

Corm ovoid, oblong, 1.5-3.5 x 1-2 cm, flattened at the base, longitudinal groove on one side; coat brown to dark-brown, membranous. Leaves 3-6, appearing at flowering time, linear to broadly linear, 10-20 x 0.5-2 cm, apex obtuse. Flowers yellow, infundibuliform, 3-4 cm across. Tepals 6, united below into a long, narrow tube, up to 9 cm long; segments linear to oblanceolate, 2-3 cm long, acute to obtuse. Stamens 6, attached at the base of the perianth segments, included; filaments 4-5 mm long; anthers yellow, linear, 1-1.5 cm long, basifixed. Ovary superior, trilocular; styles 3, filiform, longer than the stamens; stigma minute. Ovules many. Fruit capsular, ovoid, up to 3 cm long, dehiscence septicidal with recurved beaks; seeds numerous, globose, 2 mm in diameter.

Fl. Per.: February to May depending on the altitude.

Type locality: Described from Kashgar, Central Asia.

Distribution: Central Asia, Afghanistan, Himalayas in Pakistan and India.

An early flowering species, soon after the snow melts. Fairly common from 1500 to 3000 m altitude. The seeds and the corm contain the alkaloid, Colchicine, which is used in medicine to relieve pain and inflamation and in plant breeding work to induce doubling of chromosomes.


Related Objects  
  • Illustration (S. Hameed)
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