A genus of about 30 species of flowering plants, including C. autumnale, the autumn crocus or meadow saffron. Species grow throughout Eurasia, and have pink, white, blue, or purple crocus-like flowers which appear in the autumn. The swollen underground stem contains the alkaloid colchicine, used to treat arthritis and gout. It is also employed in genetic and cellular research, as it inhibits mitosis (cell division). This property makes colchicine valuable in cancer research and as an immunosuppressant. Family: Liliaceae.
Related category• BOTANY
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