Colchicum haynaldii Heuff., 1858
Oxia, Prespes, FLORINA ● Greece
Description: The corm is usually ovoid, up to 4.5 (-6) X 3.5 (-4.5) cm. The tunics are submembranous to subcoriaceous, deep reddish-brown to brown (to dark-brown), with a neck up to 11 cm long.
The (3-) 4-6 (rarely up to 8) leaves are hysteranthous, mostly crowded at ground level, up to 24 (-29) X 4 (-5) cm, suberect to erecto-patent, occasionally patent, distally rather long-attenuate with an obtuse apex, channelled or almost flat, keeled, often somewhat twisted-undulate, margins narrowly cartilaginous, glabrous, sometimes hairy in basal part.
The 1-7 (-11) flowers are rosy-purple or rosy-lilac to purple, more rarely violet-purple, often rather distinctly fine-tessellated, with a median white streak, veined by up to 21 (-27) parallel or outwards diverging, often slightly darker nerves, with pronouncedly slanting anastomoses. The tube is yellowish-white to white, very often flushed purplish. The tepals up to 6 (-6.5) X 1.6 (-2) cm are mostly very unequal. The filament channels are usually hairy. The stamens are up to ½ of the tepals length, filaments yellowish-white to white, occasionally flushed purplish, swollen base usually greenish, sometimes yellow. The anthers are yellow. The styles are equalling to slightly overtopping the stamens, whitish, stigmas decurrent.
The capsules at ground level are up to 4.5 X 2.5 cm, ellipsoid to oblong. The seeds are deep red-brown to brown, with a large yellowish-white appendage.
C. haynaldii is very much alike C. autumnale, C. confusum and C. turcicum. Most usufull diagnostic characters are features of tunics and leaf characters are conclusive. Flowers are most similar to C. autumnale and C. confusum, both of which may grow together. Plants in leaf may have a similarity to C. confusum. C. haynaldii differs from C. confusum by the mostly thinner and redder tunics, with a relatively shorter and narrower neck and by the tessellated and faintly reticulate-patterned tepals, owing to purplish spreading veins and anastomoses. Furthermore, C. haynaldii has usually green (not yellow) filament bases, styles rarely distinctly overtopping stamens and leaves often more than 5, less patent, less pronouncedly long-attenuate and less twisted. Capsules are narrower and the chromosome number is different.
Compering to C. autumnale, C. haynaldii has more often rather distinctly tessellated flowers and a slightly darker (more distinct) reticulate vein pattern and different filaments colour. The leaves of C. autumnale rarely exceed 5 in number, they are more oblong (widest at middle, or just below) and relatively wider, only slightly twisted (if at all). The chromosome number differs widely.
Biology: Flowering from late August to early November. The leaves appear in April –June.
Habitat: Sinkholes, meadows, rocky ground among shrubs, openings of forests, on limestone, sometimes on siliceous substrates, 0- c. 1500m.
Distribution: Balkan endemic of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, former Yugoslavia. In Greece, it is found on the Northern part, on Mt Chelmos (Peloponnese) and on Corfu island.
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