Colchicum variegatum L.
Common names: Κολχικό το ποικιλόμορφο [Gr], Güz Acıçiğdemi, Sürincan [Tu]
Fourkovouni, MILOS ● Greece
Description: It is distinguished by its very strong purple tessellation (checkerboard marking).
Flowers 1-2 (-3), rotate; perianth tube exceeding the cataphyll by 2-10 cm, white or yellowish-white; segments 2-5.5 (-7) x 0.5-2.5 cm, lanceolate to elliptic, each segment 10-21 veins, light or dark violet-purple, strongly tessellated, obtuse to acute, without auricles at base, filament channels glabrous. Stamens 1/2 or more longer of perianth limb in length; filaments 1.5-3.5 (-4) cm, white, cream or yellowish-white, glabrous; anthers 4-10 x 0.5-1.2 mm, purple, purplish-black or purplish-brown, without membranous margin. Styles straight or slightly curved and swollen at apex, cream, yellowish-white, light purplish-pink or violet-purple, stigmas decurrent for 0.5-2 mm. Capsule 1-4 x 0.8-1.5 (-2) cm, elliptic to oblong-ovoid, light or dark brown dotted when dry, obtuse, glabrous; seeds 1.5-4 mm diam., ovoid to subglobose, sometimes flattened laterally, light to dark brown.
Biology: Flowering from September to November.
Habitat: Rocky and stony slopes, among limestone boulders in rich terra rossa, clearings of Quercus coccifera, Erica and Juniperus scrubs, openings of Pinus and Abies forest, maquis.
Altitudinal range: 150-1700 m.
Distribution: This species is native from Turkey and Greece: South, West and Central Anatolia and adjacent Aegean islands, Cyclades.
Caution: Colchicum species contain poisonous alkaloids, such as colchicine. When these poisonous alkaloids are accidentally ingested by humans and animals, they cause very serious health problems such as serious liver damage and finally death. All parts of Colchicum species have been shown to contain colchicine.
Davis, P. H., ed. 1965–1988. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands.
Dinç Duşen O., Sümbül H., 2007. A Morphological Investigation of Colchicum L. (Liliaceae) Species in the Mediterranean Region in Turkey, Tubitak, Turk J Bot 31 (2007) 373-419. [pdf Document]