The Colchicum is also called Colchicum and also Autumnalis. It belongs to a genus of flowering perennial plants of the family Colchicum. Under natural conditions, this plant can be found in Western and Central Asia, North Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. This genus includes about 70 species of different plants. The Latin name of this plant comes from the word colchis, which translates as "Colchis" - a region in the Black Sea coast, because there are several species of ageless.
Among the people of this plant is called "ageless flower" or "autumn flower," all because there are several species of ageless, blooming in late fall. Such a flower is cultivated in all areas where there is a temperate climate.
Peculiarities of the ageless flower
This herbaceous plant is a perennial, and it is also an ephemeroid. It has a large number of short shoots on which there are large lanceolate elongated leaf plates. They grow and develop during the spring and die off completely by the beginning of summer.
On the surface of the corms is a brown-colored sheath. Such a sheath forms a long tube that covers the lower part of the flower. Most species of ageless flower blooms in the spring. In some species, however, flowering occurs in the spring. Single funnel-shaped flowers grow from the soil.
Such a flower with a tube-shaped perianth (most of it is under the soil surface) is 20 centimeters long. Its fruit is a three nesting oval globular box. Such a plant contains poison, it was mentioned in his works even by Dioscorides himself. Remember, however, that the poison is in any of the parts of this plant.
Nepretty flowers for the garden.
Immemorials. Garden World website
Growing the ageless flower from seed
The seed method of propagating the ageless flower takes a long time. The reason is that a plant grown this way begins to flower only after 6 or 7 years, after the bulb has grown and gained strength. However, only a few species that flower in spring and species that do not form daughter bulbs (e.g.
, the perennial yellow) can be propagated in this way. Seeds are sown in moist, loose soil rich in nutrients. Mature seeds are sown almost immediately after they are harvested (usually at the beginning of summer). Immediately before sowing they are immersed for some time in clean water. Sow the seeds not deeply.
If you cannot sow the seeds immediately after harvesting, you will need to stratify them for six months before sowing them. To do this, they should be placed on the shelf of the refrigerator. Instead of soaking, it is recommended to put the seeds in a sock or stocking, which should be fixed inside the toilet cistern. After each flush the seeds are rinsed, so that inhibitors are removed and this helps to increase the germination of the seeds considerably.
Sowing the seeds should be done in open soil.
Before the seeds are sown, wells are made in the bed, a good drainage layer should be placed at the bottom, and not too much sand should be poured on top of it. The first sprouts can be seen only with the onset of the next fall period, but sometimes the seedlings appear a little later. Taking care of the seedlings of the ageless flower will not be very difficult. So, it is necessary to thin seedlings and when it is necessary to water them, and watering stops after the dying off of leaf plates, also do not forget to do regular weeding. Also, young plants should be covered in the fall, so that they do not freeze in the winter.
Growing such a flower from seed will require experience and patience.
Putting the ageless flower in the open ground
What time to plant
To plant ageless flowers, it is recommended to choose well-lit areas, but they grow and develop quite well in a little shade as well. But it should be taken into account that if such a flower is planted in a shady place under the trees, the slugs can get on it. The soil plants need well-drained, because their root system negatively reacts to stagnant water. For planting you can choose an alkaline or acidic soil, as well as not very heavy clay, which should not be saturated with moisture.
In the neighborhood of such flowers it is recommended to place juniper or peonies, the fact is that their beautiful leaves will distract from the ageless flower at a time when its leaves become yellow and unsightly.
Those species whose flowering is observed in the fall should be planted in the middle of August. If the bulb is large enough, it can already bloom in the first year.
How to plant an ageless flower
When planting such a plant in the open ground, a distance of 10-20 centimeters between the specimens should be observed. Small bulbs should be planted no less than 8 centimeters deep and large bulbs no more than 20 centimeters.
When planting the bulbs in the soil you need to add wood ash (1 liter of the substance per 1 square meter), and superphosphate (1 full big spoon per 1 square meter). During planting, you need to pay special attention to the tubes on the bulb, which are formed by scales. They must necessarily look out of the ground, because from them will later emerge buds. You should not cut such a tube, as in this case, the formed bud will need to move apart the heavy layer of soil to get out on its surface. Before planting, the soil should be prepared, for this purpose, half a bucket of sand and 1 bucket of humus per 1 square meter should be added during the digging.
The newly planted bulbs begin to bloom 1.5 months later.
Maintenance of the new stone plant
There is nothing difficult about the care of such a plant. It should only be watered when it is flowering and only during prolonged dryness and heat. At other times you should not water such a flower, because it will be enough of natural precipitation.
Remember to avoid overwatering the soil.
Feeding is done 2 or 3 times a season. Complex mineral fertilizer (30 grams per 1 square meter) is used, and a weak solution (2 grams of the substance per 1 liter of water) is prepared. Remember that the fertilizer must necessarily include nitrogen. In the autumn time, compost should be added to the soil.
You should also systematically loosen the soil and remove weeds.
How to transplant
In the same place this flower can grow quite long (about 6-7 years), then it must be transplanted to a new location. However, experienced gardeners advise transplanting at least every 2 or 3 years, otherwise the bulbs will overgrow and become very crowded and the flowers will become too small. The best time for both planting and transplanting is August. At this time, the ageless flower is in a state of dormancy.
However, the bulbs should be dug in advance, after the leaf plates become yellow, usually this time is in the second half of June. From the bulbs should be carefully removed from the soil, as well as remove the remaining leaves. Separate the daughter bulbs from the mother bulbs, taking into account that the latter are not used for subsequent planting. The bulbs should then be carefully washed under running water and then placed in a solution of manganese potassium for 30 minutes to disinfect them. The tubers should then be dried well and stored in a dry, darkened place at a temperature of approximately 24 degrees.
With the onset of August, the detached daughter bulbs should be planted in the ground. The rules for planting are exactly the same as those used for planting the ageless flower (described above). Remember to fertilize the soil beforehand.
Diseases and pests
Snails as well as slugs can settle on such a flower. Such pests feed on its leaves.
If the soil is almost constantly overwatered, this can cause gray rot to develop. In order to avoid the appearance of slugs, the surface between the rows should be covered with a layer of crushed shells, small gravel or eggshells. And even around the perimeter of the site you can place the troughs of plastic, in which you need to pour water. They will be an insurmountable barrier for slugs and snails.
If you irrigate the ageless flower regularly for a long time, it may develop gray rot, which is a fungal disease.
If the flower is not heavily infested, you can try to treat it. For this purpose, it is recommended to treat the bush with Champion, Topaz, Cuproxate or other similar treatment. Before treatment, you should cut off and burn the parts of the plant that are severely affected. Then the watering schedule should be reviewed.
There are some gardeners who cut off the wilted flowers and leaves of such a plant to preserve the attractiveness of the flower bed.
However, it is by no means necessary to do this. The fact is that the maturing bulb needs all the vitality. In this regard, it is necessary to remove from the plot only those parts that have fallen off on their own.
Main species and varieties with photos
Most species of ageless plants bloom in the fall. However, there are also species that bloom in early spring, but they are not as popular with gardeners.
This species in natural conditions prefers to grow on the edges of rocky glaciers in the Himalayas, Pamirs, Tien Shan and Tibet. It has been cultivated since 1882. Flowering of such a plant begins immediately after the snow cover descends. Its flowers are three centimeters in diameter and have a rich yellow color, but their height does not exceed 15 centimeters. The flat leaf plates, colored dark green, grow at the same time as the flowers.
Hungarian Permaflower (Colchicum hungaricum)
The home of this flower is Hungary, but it can also be found in Greece, Albania, and also in the former Yugoslavia. Flowering occurs in late winter or early spring. The pink-purple or white flowers have dark maroon anthers. The upper part and the edge of the leaf blades, which grow while the plant is flowering, have a dense coating of hairs on their surface. The most popular variety is the Velebit Star.
The Ancarian, or three-leafed, or Biberstein's (Colchicum ancyrense, Colchicum biebersteimi, Colchicum triphyllum)
This plant is considered the earliest ephemeroid. Thus, in some cases, its flowering begins in the last days of December and ends in April. Under natural conditions this species can be found in Moldova, in the southwestern regions of Ukraine, in Crimea, as well as in the western regions of Turkey. Each specimen has 3 narrow, oblong, grooved leaves of grayish color, with a ciliate edge, and 2 to 4 flowers of pink-purple color.
Regel's, or Kesselring's (Colchicum regelii, Colchicum crociflorum, Colchicum kesselringii)
In natural conditions, it occurs most often in subalpine and alpine belts, which are at least 2,000 meters above sea level.
And this species can also be found in the Tien Shan and Pamir. It has an oblong bulb and 2-7 blunt grooved leaves with finely serrated or smooth margins. There are 1 to 4 white flowers on the specimen, with purple-purple stripes on the underside of the lobes. Flowering begins as soon as the snow cover comes off.
Also popular with gardeners are species such as: Owlberry, water-loving and wispy.
Autumnum (Colchicum autumnale)
Prefers to grow in meadows and wooded glades. Under natural conditions this species can be found in European countries from the Carpathians and Latvia to England and Western France. It is sometimes found at an altitude of over 2 thousand meters above sea level. The bush of this plant does not reach more than 40 centimeters in height. Flat upright, oblong-shaped leaf plates grow in the spring, and by early summer they turn yellow and fade.
One bulb gives rise to 1 to 4 pale lilac or white flowers, which are 7 centimeters in diameter. The most popular forms are as follows:
- Autumn white, this form can be met rarely in natural conditions. On a single bulb from the middle of September, 5-7 flowers appear, the length of which does not exceed 15 centimeters. Their center is yellow and the perianth is white.
- Autumn terry- The length of the purple flowers is about 12 centimeters, while their diameter is 5 centimeters.
Each flower has many petals (about 35). The dark green leaflets are 25 centimeters long and 4 centimeters wide. Flowering begins later than the other species, namely, in the last days of October.
- Autumn white terry - Each terry white flower has about 45 petals. The plant blooms from the middle of September.
- Autumn neddiste - this form was bred in the Czech Republic. The flowers are colored light pink.
And there are also such forms in which the flowers are colored dark purple or magenta. The Baconsfield variety has flowers with a white center and purple-pink coloration.
The magnificent Colchicum speciosum
This species is native to Turkey, Transcaucasia and northern Iran.
The bush is about half a meter tall. The length of the rich green leaf plates is about 30 centimeters and their width is 6 centimeters. The leaves have a wavy edge. They die off by the beginning of summer. The large flowers are colored lilac or pink-purple and have a long white tube.
Flowering begins in September. This species has many garden forms such as: dark red, Turkish, white, giant, etc. The most popular varieties are:
- Huxley - pinkish-purple florets gradually change their color to deep purple.
- Waterly - mauve-colored, macerated flowers.
- Premier - this variety is late flowering.
Its florets are very bright and have a mauve-pink color.
Besides these fall-flowering species grow other such as: Fomina, Stevina, Trudy, Sibtropa, Jerusalem, shadowy, bright, Pannonian, Neapolitan, Kochi, Cilician, Byzantine, mottled, Bornmüller, dark purple, etc.
From the hybrid forms the most popular are Otem Herald, Princess Astrid, Dick Trotter, Violet Queen.
Brethrenflower autumn snowdrops. Garden World website