The story of the Autumn Crocus

March 24, 2014 – 02:12 am

Medicinal plants are another wonder of nature, most of them making their first appearance with the first spring sunshine.

At a first look, medicinal plants seem like painted by the Goddess of flowers - Flora, which Flavonius, gentle west wind helped her to give birth to the most beautiful and lively season of the year - Spring.

The scientific name of the plants was given by a great scientist, the swidish Carl von Linne (1707 - 1778), who attributed to medicinal species, names of deities from Greek and Roman mythology.

Today I will present a plant that is toxic, but whose seeds are used in the pharmaceutical industry for the extraction of alkaloids. This plant is Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale).

This produces an active substance used in medicine - colchicine and has anticancer and antigout activity.

Next I will tell you the legend and the origin of the name of this plant.

Autumn crocus is known in folk tradition as the "flower of the dead", but also after it's scientific name Colchicum autumnale L. It's name comes from legendary Colhida region, where it has been used since ancient times as poisonous by witch Medea itself, Eetee's daughter, who helped Jason to seize the Golden Fleece.

Colchicum autumnale (Autumn crocus)

Foto: Gabriela Iftode

Constantinescu C. 1979. Plante medicinale în apărarea sănătății. Ediția a VII-a. București: Editura Recoop


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Plants, kids, and pets??

Please check before you plant. Many common garden plants can make a child or a pet severely ill if not kill them. Put in "list common garden plants poison" and look at the websites. All parts of some plants, and only specific parts of other plants are toxic. These are just a few.
Daffodils, hyacinths
Castor Bean
Autumn crocus, Star of Bethlehem
Daphne, wisteria
Rhodys, azaleas
If you have children or pets please check before you plant.

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Related posts:

  1. Autumn crocus common name
  2. Autumn crocus Latin name
  3. Autumnale crocus Colchicum