Abstract
BOTANY, TAXONOMY AND CYTOLOGY OF COLCHICUM PUSILLUM

*R. B. Saxena

ABSTRACT

Colchicum is a genus of perennial flowering plants containing around 160 species which grow from bulb-like corms. It is native of west Asia, Europe, parts of the Mediterranean coast, down the East Africa coast to south Africa and western cape. In this genus the ovary of the flower is underground. As a consequence, the styles are extremely long in propotior, often more than 10 cm. The common names ` Autumn crocus`, `meadow saffron`, `naked lady` and `false autumn crocus`, may be applied to the whole genus or to may of its species. Colchicum pusillum is generally found at the height of 0-10 m asl. It is generally found in Greece and Cyprus. This species are highly valuated as ornamental and therapeutic use. The taxonomy of this genus ia rather confused and misnaming often occurs in the trade, so many of the so-called species in cultication are actually hybrids of unknown origin. Botany, taxonomy, infra-specific taxa, distribution, ecology, description, chromosome counts and phenology are provided with their identification of colchicum pusillum.

Keywords: Colchicum, Geographic area, taxonomy, cytology, chromosome, therapeutic uses, colchicum pusillum.


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