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Video: Colchicum Or Colchicum Is A Deadly Beauty
Colchicum is an amazing flower that delights summer residents in autumn
Colchicum got its Latin name due to the fact that it was found in the region of Western Georgia - Colchis. Its Russian name - colchicum - was bestowed because of its late flowering, sometimes in late autumn.
There is also its Latin name, which has not yet been solved, - Filius ante patrem, which literally translates as a son before his father.
Dangerous handsome man
In general, the genus of Colchicum is extensive, it is more than 70 species of corm perennials, which are widespread both in Europe and in North Africa, West and Central Asia. Plants begin their active growth in early spring, throwing out large, elongated-lanceolate leaves, which usually completely die off by mid-summer.
But this is not the end, the most interesting thing happens in the fall, when single, funnel-shaped flowers of various colors rise from the ground.
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These flowers can reach a height of 20 cm! The flowers are beautiful, but terribly poisonous! This was noticed in ancient times. Even the water in which the cut flowers stood can be fatally poisoned. There were cases when unwanted wives or mistresses were hounded in this way, and it was almost impossible to catch the culprit in premeditated murder.
The alkaloid colchicine gives the flower such a deadly beauty - the most dangerous compound, which, even in very small doses, is quite capable of causing rather strong, long-lasting burns on the body, and when it gets on the mucous membrane of the throat, tongue, or when swallowing a particle of a plant, it immediately causes an acute burning sensation in the throat. severe dizziness, nausea, often leading to paralysis of the body and cardiac arrest. In view of this, "communicate" with the plant very carefully, preferably without removing rubber gloves.
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But let's not talk about the sad, because first of all it is not a murder weapon, but beautiful flowers with a very interesting rhythm of development. Indeed, unlike most bulbous, striving to quickly show their charm, crocuses are in no hurry with this, often throwing out flowers a couple of days before the first snow.
Colchicum - plants are very unpretentious, they feel good in open sunny places. They do not require frequent transplants, without them they even feel better, do not hesitate to be located near large bushes, tall herbaceous plants, but they prefer the southern side.
As for the soil, loose and light, with an abundance of nutrients are considered optimal for these plants.
These flowers are planted to a depth that in most cases depends on the size of the future plant - within 8-20 cm. This is usually judged by the size of the bulb, because larger specimens grow out of larger ones. Due to the fact that tall flowers can break in bad weather, gardeners often advise placing the bulbs closely to each other, not exceeding a distance of 10-15 cm. Planting dates depend on the flowering time of the crocus flowers. For example, plants that will bloom in the fall can be planted in early August.
You should, of course, talk about leaving. The scourge of autumn crocus flowers are slugs, you can fight them by constantly removing weeds, loosening the soil throughout the season, as well as sprinkling the surface of the earth with superphosphate.
Reproduction of colchicum
Croplands are propagated by dividing the nests of corms and seeds. They also reproduce very easily by daughter bulbs, sometimes such an amount is formed that the plants simply stop blooming. Here you want - you don't want to, but the bulbs need to be dug up and planted. Plants, as it were, stimulate their owner to reproduce.
When planting, be sure to take into account at least the approximate development cycle of the plant and plant them at the beginning of the vegetative dormancy period. Usually, the corms are excavated in mid-summer, in July, only after the aerial part has completely died out. And they are planted strictly before the flowers appear, usually immediately after division.
As for wild species that do not have varietal characteristics, they can be propagated by seeds. Sow them fresh - around June-July. The next spring, seedlings appear together, and the first flowering can be seen in five years.
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Collar use in the garden
Well, and finally, having described the plants, you should talk about its main purpose. It is not known where the love for this plant began. Perhaps, thanks to the unpretentiousness in flowering, we can so often admire its simple beauty, making the crocus a welcome guest of autumn flower arrangements.
Plants are versatile, and in solitary plantings they will add an area of elegance and will not spoil any group planting, which can be placed along paths, curbs, near or around water bodies, on lawns, decorating the center or giving outlines, on alpine slides, adding naturalness to them even in rocky gardens.
Colchicum looks especially great on terraces and balconies, for this it is enough to plant the corms in the container you need, in which sand, gravel or expanded clay must be present. Colchicum plants look nice in small terracotta pots or in transparent glass or plastic vessels, where you can see the bulb and all stages of development.
Remember that you should never water the bulbs, they must be dry. Only when this condition is met will they begin to bloom on their own. After flowering, the bulbs must be planted in open ground. And those bulbs that are sold directly with flowers must be planted without delay in unprotected land, otherwise there is a high probability that they will die.
In gardens, crocuses are very often used as group plantings against the background of a green lawn, in rock gardens, prefabricated flower beds. Over time, the plants grow into large clumps that make an enchanting impression. Such plantings serve as an excellent frame for flower beds, look great even in the light shade of shrubs.
When planning a flower bed, do not forget that the flowers will not appear immediately, in the spring there will be juicy leaves in their place, which will dry out at the beginning of summer and look more than unattractive, so you should plan to plant other plants nearby that can cover this unprepossessing look.
Cut flowers of crocus flowers are an excellent decoration for any interior, especially with careful handling, because, as you know, beauty is dangerous!
Photo by Natalia Butyagina and Olga Rubtsova