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Colchicum capense ssp. ciliolatum

   (Family: Colchicaceae)
Afrikaans: Bobbejaanskoen English: Cup and a saucer, Men-in-a-boat  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Bulb
Height: 0.1m
Spread: 0.1 - 0.3m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily),
Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water)
  The bulb has been found to be toxic, yet it has been used medicinally by the Southern Sothos as ointment for the sore ears
Flowering time EDIT
          x x x        
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
Flower type
  Small flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and possibly rodents
  Flower info
  Bracts pale green to white covering white flowers, tepal blade concave at the base and shorter than the tepal claw, stamens longer than the tepals.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf type
Leaf texture Smooth
Leaf size 55 - 145mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  Leaves ovate-lanceolate, 55–145 x 14–47 mm, lying on the ground, the margin of the leaves are ciliolate, bracts pale green to white.
Fruit type EDIT
Sow seeds in Autumn
  Seed info EDIT
  The ovary is cylindrical; deeply lobed, has three free styles and many ovules per locule. The fruit is an ovoid capsule that spilts open along the edges of each chamber (septicidal).
Description EDIT
Stemless geophyte up to 0.1 m tall.
The flowers are found at the base of the bract and are usually green-white.
Growing EDIT
Colchicums can be propagated from fresh seed. The seed will ripen very quickly in hot, dry weather.

It is more usual to plant the seed of winter growing geophytes in autumn (fall) at the commencement of the growing season, and to transplant the corms when dormant.

Plants will take about 4 years to flower if grown from seed.

These plants can also be increased by separating the cormels or offsets from the corms. This can be done as soon as the foliage has died down in early midsummer or before growth commences.
Distribution EDIT
Plants are found in the Northern Cape and Western Cape in Namqualand on Atlantic coast.
History EDIT
These plants previously belonged to the genus Androcymbium but have since been included in Colchicum, which is the older name. DNA studies show that the species of Colchicum represent a single, specialised lineage or group that evolved from an ancestor within the genus Androcymbium. As such both genera must be included within one.
The plant contains the alkaloid colchicine which is used pharmaceutically to treat gout and Familial Mediterranean fever. The use of the roots and seeds in traditional medicine is thought to have arisen due to the presence of this drug.
Ecology EDIT
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