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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)

 


BRIEF: Could you give me some information on Colchicum Autumnale (Meadow Saffron)?


QUESTION:
I am studying towards a degree in Environmental Geoscience. For my Vegetation and the Environment module, I have to undertake a study on a particular plant, Colchicum Autumnale, or Meadow Saffron. I am having a lot of difficulty finding any infomation on this plant and would be very grateful if you could put me in the right direction.

ANSWER:

See Spoerke and Smolinske's Toxicity of Houseplants (CRC Press) pp 15-18 and 104-105. The explanations are excellent and the references to relevant reviews are useful. The toxicant, colchicine, is used to produce polyploidy in plant genetic studies. As a general antimitotic it attacks many organ systems in the animal body. Search on Autumn Crocus or Fall Crocus (North American common names) and I'll bet you will find much more in databases and on the web than when you tried Meadow Saffron.