Propagation is by the formation of new corms from the parent corm, and by seeds.
The corm of the meadow-saffron attains its full size in June or early in July.
A smaller corm is then formed from the old one, close to its root; and this in September and October produces the crocus-like flowers.
The young corm, at first about the diameter of the flower-stalk, grows continuously, till in the following July it attains the size of a small apricot.
The parent corm remains attached to the new one, and keeps its form and size till April in the third year of its existence, after which it decays.
In some cases a single corm produces several new plants during its second spring by giving rise to immature corms.
For medical purposes the corm should be collected in the early summer and, after the outer coat has been removed, should be sliced and dried at a temperature of 130° to 150° F.
The British Pharmacopoeia contains (i) an extract of the fresh corm, having doses of 4 to i grain, and (2) the Vinum Colchici, made by treating the dried corm with sherry and given in doses of 10 to 30 minims. This latter is the preparation still most generally used, though the presence of veratrine both in the corm and the seeds renders the use of colchicine itself theoretically preferable.
They contain a volatile oil which does not occur in the corm, and their proportion of colchicine is higher, for which reason the Tinctura Colchici Seminum- dose 5 to 15 minims - is preferable to the wine prepared from the corm.
The plants have a rhizome or corm, and the fruit is a capsule.
Colchicum illustrates the corm-development which is rare in Liliaceae though common in the allied order Iridaceae; a corm is formed by swelling at the base of the axis (figs.
- Corm of Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale).
A, Old corm shrivelling; b, young corm produced laterally from the old one.
- Corm of Colchicum autumnale in autumn when the plant is in flower.
K', Younger corm produced from k.
Young corm produced from k', in autumn, which in succeeding autumn will produce flowers.
At the beginning of the new season of growth, new flowerand leaf-bearing shoots are developed from the corm at the expense of the food-stuff stored within it.
According to Hakluyt, it was brought into England from Tripoli by a pilgrim, who hid a stolen corm in the hollow of his staff.
The members of this order are generally perennial herbs growing from a corm as in Crocus and Gladiolus, or a rhizome as in Iris; more rarely, as in the Spanish iris, from a bulb.
In a Phyllopod such as Apus the limbs of the trunk consist of a flattened, unsegmented or obscurely segmented axis or corm having a series of lobes or processes known as endites and exites on its inner and outer margins respectively.
The two distal endites are regarded as corresponding to the endopodite and exopodite of the higher Crustacea, the axis or corm of the Phyllopod limb representing the protopodite.