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Colchicum cheerful or bright - bulbous perennial. Its life cycle is different from that of other horticultural crops. Colchicum blooms in the fall, when many plants are already actively preparing for winter sleep. Therefore, its opening buds look exquisite against the background of dull autumn weather, which pleases the eye. Another name for the plant is colchicum, osennik.
Colchicum flowers resemble crocuses, but appear in the fall.
Description of the crocus funny
This crop belongs to the Haricorn family. The aerial part is renewed annually in spring and consists of succulent herbaceous leaves. The height of this bulbous perennial varies between 5-25 cm.
Colchicum forms 4 ligulate leaves, the lower of which is the widest with a blunt end, and the upper ones are pointed. The shade of the plates is bright green. The leaves form a rosette. Although this perennial blooms only in autumn, the growing season begins in early spring. It was during this period that the first leaves break through from the ground, the length of which reaches 20-30 cm.
Later, a seed box breaks through from the center of the rosette, which is a continuation of the previous autumn flowering. It gradually grows and becomes mature by the end of May. Inside are seeds of a red-brown color, which are subsequently carried by the wind. After their ripening, the above-ground part of the verrucous crocus gradually dries up. In this case, the leaves cannot be cut off until they completely wilt, since it is they who feed the bulb. In early June, the first period of rest begins.
And only with the arrival of autumn, the life cycle of this bulbous perennial is resumed. At this time, the jolly crocus blooms. This period lasts for him about 3 weeks. The plant forms bare erect peduncles. Their height reaches 20-25 cm. In this case, the most part is the goblet corolla itself.
The flowers of the jolly crocus (photo below) are simple, consisting of lanceolate oblong petals 4 cm long, exude a pleasant aroma. Their color is mauve. When the glass is fully opened, stamens up to 2 cm long with yellowish anthers can be seen in the center. Columns are thin, filiform, erect. They are slightly thickened from above, and much longer than the stamens in length.
Important! Frosts and snowfalls are not a hindrance to the blooming of the merry colchicum.
The plant forms from 1 to 3 flowers per season
The underground part is presented in the form of a large oblong bulb, 3 to 5 cm long and about 3 cm in diameter. Its shade is creamy, but dark brown scales cover the top. A supply of nutrients is concentrated in the bulb.
Colchicum merry has an average level of frost resistance, despite the fact that the homeland is the Mediterranean. The plant can withstand temperatures as low as -17 degrees. But when growing a perennial in the northern regions, additional shelter is needed for the winter so that the bulbs do not freeze out.
This culture is undemanding to the care and composition of the soil. Colchicum cheerful can grow and bloom fully in any soil, regardless of the acidity level. For it, it is only necessary that the soil has good moisture and air permeability.
Important! Colchicum cheerful does not tolerate stagnation of moisture in the soil, which provokes rotting of the bulbs.
Where does the flower grow
In its natural environment, this culture can be found in the Mediterranean, North Africa and Southeast Asia. In Russia, the bulbous perennial grows in the Eurasian part and the Caucasus. And also there were registered cases of a successful find in the Kuban region.
Colchicum cheerful prefers to grow in forest glades and edges under the shade of shrubs, where the sun's rays reach and there is no stagnation of moisture. And also in the meadows and steppes of the lower and middle mountain belt. The merry colchicum is listed in the Red Book, since thoughtless picking of its flowers for bouquets leads to depletion and further death of the bulbs. Therefore, the number of this plant is sharply reduced.
Planting and caring for flowers
It is necessary to plant a jolly crocus in open ground in August. During this period, the bulb has already managed to make a supply of nutrients, but is still in a dormant stage. A site for a plant should be chosen for partial shade, where water does not stagnate. 2 weeks before planting, you need to dig it up and add humus, sand at the rate of 1 bucket per square meter. m. You should also carefully remove all the roots of perennial weeds and level the surface.
Important! You cannot plant the plant in deep shade, as its decorative effect is reduced.
- Make holes 12 cm deep at a distance of 30 cm from each other.
- Pour 20 g of superphosphate, 10 g of potassium sulfate and 100 g of wood ash into them.
- Mix everything thoroughly with earth.
- Put each onion in a separate hole with the bottom down.
- Sprinkle with earth, compact the surface.
- Water abundantly.
You should not expect that after rooting, the plant will begin to grow leaves, since they will appear only with the arrival of spring.
Important! Work related to planting and caring for a cheerful crocus should be carried out with gloves, since all parts of it are poisonous and can cause burns on the skin.
This culture does not require special care. During the growing season, there is no need to water the plant in spring, since the soil is quite wet after winter. At this time, you only need to weed the sweet crocus and loosen the soil near it in order to maintain air access to the bulbs.
You should also carry out the first feeding during this period. To do this, you can use a nitroammophoska at the rate of 30 g per 10 liters of water. The second and third time, the merry colchicum should be fertilized during the formation of buds and after flowering. During this period, apply superphosphate (20 g) and potassium sulfate (10 g) for the same volume of liquid.
At the end of flowering and before winter, you need to cut off the wilted peduncles at the base. Then sprinkle the surface of the soil with sawdust or fallen leaves. In the northern regions, you need to additionally cover the top with spruce branches.
Important! With the arrival of spring, the insulation should be removed in advance so that the bulbs do not come out.
What plants is combined with
The plant crocus jolly is ideal for creating rockeries and alpine slides. This culture can be combined with ground cover white roses, the same shade of alissum. The beauty of this perennial can be successfully emphasized by boxwood and undersized juniper species planted in the background. This combination will add the missing green shade.
The merry colchicum goes well with creeping cultures, such as the tenacious, periwinkle, yaskolka, and goryanka.
Interesting facts about the colchicum funny
This plant is distinguished not only by its beautiful flowers, but also by its unusual life cycle. There are also other interesting facts about this plant.
Colchicum jolly is in many ways similar to saffron, but they are not related crops. Although the flower can grow in highlands and rocky soil, it cannot be found in Scandinavia.
This culture accumulates colchicine in all parts, for which it received one of the names. This component is widely used in plant polyploidy studies.
If necessary, the jolly crocus can be used for forcing by a certain date, if favorable conditions in the greenhouse are provided. It is better not to do this at home because of the toxicity of the plant.
Although the jolly crocus contains hazardous substances, it is widely used in medicine. On this basis, drugs are prepared that help with asthma, leukemia, infectious nephritis and even malignant tumors.
The bulbs and seeds of the plant have healing qualities to a greater extent.
This plant has antioxidant, diuretic, laxative, antiemetic and analgesic effects.
Ointments and tinctures for external use are prepared on the basis of the merry colchicum. They help with diseases of the musculoskeletal system and joint swelling.
The jolly crocus is a beautiful plant that, with its bright flowers, is able to dilute the gloom of autumn days. To preserve this culture for posterity, you do not need to dig up the plant in the forest. To do this, it is enough to purchase bulbs in any gardening store, which are specially grown for landscaping personal plots.