Definition of colchicum in English:



  • 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. 1.1 The 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’ (), alluding to the skills as a poisoner of the sorceress Medea of Colchis in classical mythology.