Colchicum luteum - Baker.
Common Name
Family Colchicaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb[200], are poisonous[4, 7, 10, 19, 65]. They cause vomiting, violent purging, serious inflammation of the stomach and bowels, and death[232]. Handling the corms can cause skin allergies in some people[238].
Habitats Stony or earthy hillsides and alpine meadows at higher altitudes[200].
Range E. Asia - China to the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.


Colchicum luteum

Colchicum luteum
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of bulb
Colchicum luteum is a BULB growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 6-Mar It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Apr to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Alterative;  Anodyne;  Aphrodisiac;  Carminative;  Laxative.

The corms are alterative, aphrodisiac, carminative and laxative[240]. They are used in India to treat gout, rheumatism and diseases of the liver and spleen[240]. They contain the toxic alkaloid 'colchicine' which is used externally to relieve pain[211, 240]. The dried corms contain around 0.25% colchicine and the seed about 0.4%[240].


Other Uses
The following notes are for C. autumnale. Since this plant also contains colchicine it can be assumed that it has the same uses[K]. The poisonous alkaloid 'colchicine' is extracted from this plant and used to alter the genetic make-up of plants in an attempt to find new, improved varieties[148]. It works by doubling the chromosome number[89].
Cultivation details
Prefers a rich well-drained loam that does not dry out rapidly in summer[1]. Requires a very sunny position[90]. This species is hardy to at least -15°c[200]. Plants can take 4 - 5 years to flower when grown from seed[164]. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233].
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in early summer in a seed bed or a cold frame[1, 164]. Germination can be very slow, taking up to 18 months at 15°c[164]. It is best to sow the seed thinly so that it is not necessary to transplant the seedlings for their first year of growth. Apply a liquid fertilizer during their first summer, however, to ensure they get sufficient nourishment. Prick out the seedlings once they are dormant, putting perhaps 2 plants per pot, and grow them on in a greenhouse or frame for at least a couple of years. Plant them out into their permanent positions when they are dormant[K]. The seedlings take 4 - 5 years to reach flowering size[1]. Division of the bulbs in June/July when the leaves have died down[1]. Larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out. The plant can be divided every other year if a quick increase is required[1].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


Print Friendly and PDF
Expert comment
Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
Sandeep Kumar   Thu Feb 10 08:52:10 2005
Respected sir, your site is very informative and easly accessable,but I feel if you also attached some phtograph of crude drugs and medicinal plants for identification of the same, then it will be more informatve compresion to present status with due regards Sandeep Kumar

Link: Traditinal knowledge Digital Library TKDL is Traditinal knowledge Digital Library which have information related to Plants used in Ayurvada, Siddha and Unani.Project run by National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, New delhi, India

Rajamanickam   Mon Sep 7 2009
I would like to know that, whether Colchicum luteum can grow in India. Please let me know the distribution of this plant in the all countires.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.
Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Colchicum luteum  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design

Twiter      Facebook


Content Help
Support Us
Old Database Search
About Us

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email ePost. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.