1A plant of a genus that includes the autumn crocuses.
- ‘There are two different types of fall blooming bulbs, colchicums and crocus.’
- ‘You also can plant squirrel-proof bulbs like daffodils and colchicums.’
- ‘On warm nights they have begun nibbling the freshly emerging foliage of my autumn-flowering colchicums.’
- ‘But with autumn crocus and colchicum I extended my planting pleasure by several weeks.’
- ‘Another flower well worth waiting for is the autumn colchicum, Colchicum speciosum.’
- 1.1The dried corm or seed of meadow saffron, which has analgesic properties and is used medicinally, especially as a tincture.
- ‘So Darwin had his urine tested, followed Bence Jones's special diet, and dosed himself with colchicum, a dangerously corrosive specific for gout.’
From Latin, from Greek kolkhikon of Colchis (see Colchis), alluding to the skills as a poisoner of the sorceress Medea of Colchis in classical mythology.