Autumn crocus

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 24.04.2021

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Synonym(s)

Colchicum autumnale L.

Definition
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Autumn crocus or autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is a widespread perennial herbaceous plant native to central and southern Europe, belonging to the timothy family (Colchicaceae). It reaches heights of 8 to 30 cm. The narrow, lanceolate leaves appear together with the fruit set in early summer and are up to 40 centimetres long. The autumn crocus produces pale pink to purple flowers from September to October.

As a poisonous plant, autumn crocus regularly leads to cases of poisoning. The autumn crocus was poisonous plant of the year 201o. Extracts of the autumn crocus are used medicinally: it is one of the oldest rheumatism remedies, here there are references in the Papyrus Ebers, about 1550 BC, by the ancient Egyptians against joint diseases and gout, in ancient Greece as a laxative.
Colchicum autumnale L. is the parent plant of Colchici semen, Colchici tuber and Colchici flos the autumn crocus flowers.

Ingredient(s)
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Alkaloids, Tropolonal alkaloids: Colchicine, Flavonoids

Literature
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  1. Melzig MF (2021) Autumn crocus, Cholchicum autumnale L. Z.Phytother. 2: 111611-
  2. Kaiser H (2008) From plants to chemistry- The early history of rheumatic drugs. Z Rheumatol 67:252-262
  3. Kiltz U et al (2016) Long version to the S2e guideline gouty arthritis (specialist)Evidence-based guideline of the German Society of Rheumatology (DGRh0); https://www.awmf.org/uploads/tx_szleitlinien/060-005l_S2e_Gichtarthritis_2016-08-verlaengert.pdf

Incoming links (1)

Colchici semen;

Outgoing links (3)

Alkaloids; Colchicine; Flavonoids;