Columnar flower: description, types, guidance for cultivation, care, protection
The article presents the Columnar flower: photo, description, cultivation, care, protection, species and varieties.
Today we'll talk about a very interesting perennial plant - Colchicum, which has several names: Kolhikum, Autumn flower. The plant belongs to the Haricorn family. In the wild, it is found in the west and center of Asia, in the north of Africa, in European countries, including Mediterranean ones. In this family, there are about seven dozen of all kinds of plants. Translated from Latin, Colchicum means "Colchis" (Black Sea area), it is there that you can find many types of Colchicum.
Sometimes the crocus is called "timeless" or "autumn color" and this is due to the flowering of the plant in the autumn season, often in late autumn. The culture thrives on temperate climates.
Colchicum have many species and hybrid forms, flowers - in different shades, leaves - in different shapes and sizes. Now they are very popular among gardeners, both beginners and professionals.
The perennial herbaceous crocus is an ephemeroid. Its numerous short shoots have a small number of large lanceolate-elongated plates. The leaves of the crocus, lengthening and developing in the spring, stop growing by June, fall off, and the plant becomes leafless.
Colchicum root tubers are covered with a brown shell. A long tube (perianth) is formed from it, covering the flower below.
Colchicum blooms mainly in spring. Funnel-shaped flowers, similar to crocuses, emerge from the ground. The length of the colchicum reaches up to twenty centimeters, including the perianth.
Interestingly, this plant is completely poisonous, which became known back in the days of Dioscorides. Moreover, all parts of this seemingly harmless plant are saturated with poison. Even fruits, which are spherical three-nested capsules.
Colchicum: growing from seeds
To propagate the crocus by seeds is a laborious and time consuming occupation. Yes, and he will bloom with this method only in the sixth or seventh year, when the bulbs grow up and gain strength. If you nevertheless decide to grow crocus in this way, then you should know that not all species are suitable for this, but only those that bloom in spring and those that do not form daughter bulbs (for example, Colchicum yellow).
For sowing, use moist, loose and nutritious soil. Remember the need for sowing mature seeds. They are sown in June, as soon as they are harvested. Before sowing, the seeds are kept in clean water for a short time. Placed in the soil shallow.
If it is not possible to sow the crocus within a few days after collecting the seeds, then a six-month stratification is necessary. Simply put, the seeds should be refrigerated.
Seeds will then need flushing to remove inhibitors for better germination. For this, the seeds are not soaked, but placed in a transparent elastic sock, which is fixed in the toilet cistern. Each drain ensures that the seed is flushed and therefore the inhibitors are removed.
Seeds are sown in open ground in pre-prepared holes with a drainage layer, on top of which sand is poured.The emergence of seedlings can be observed next autumn, possibly later.
It is not difficult to take care of the crocus plant, but it requires some patience: thin out in time, moisten the soil (watering is stopped as soon as the leaf plates die off) and weed. Of course, do not forget about protecting young plants from winter cold.
Colchicum: planting in open soil
Colchicum is planted in well-lit areas, but if there are no such conditions, then this plant will master well in a shaded place. True, if this place is too shady, then the appearance of slugs on the plant is possible.
A well-drained soil is necessary for the crocus, since stagnation of moisture is dangerous for the root system. The soil should be alkaline or acidic, perhaps not heavy clay without oversaturation with water.
It is great if juniper or peony trees grow nearby. This move will help make your site attractive at a time when the leaves of the colchicum turn yellow and fall off.
Colchicum, which bloom in autumn, are planted in the second decade of August. Large bulbs bloom in the 1st season.
I plant the crocus at a distance of 10 to 20 centimeters from each other. Planting depth depends on the size of the bulb: medium - no higher than 8 centimeters, large - no deeper than 20.
Before planting crocus, the soil is enriched with wood ash (1l / 1m2) and superphosphate (1 spoon / 1m2). Scaly tubes can be seen on the bulbs during planting. Buds may soon appear from them, so they should not be heavily sprinkled with earth. You also need to be careful not to accidentally cut the tubes.
It is best to prepare loose sandy soil for planting. That is, when digging, add sand and humus (1 bucket / 1m2).
Flowering occurs in about a month and a half.
About the care of colchicum
Colchicum is a plant that is easy to care for. It is watered only during flowering, especially if there is a prolonged intense heat and drought. Natural precipitation is something that is quite enough for him, especially since he simply cannot stand waterlogging.
As for dressings, they are applied a couple of times during the seasonal period. You cannot do without a complex mineral fertilizer (30g / 1m2) with nitrogen. A weak solution is sufficient, about 2g / 1L of water. A small amount of compost will be needed in the fall.
An obligatory item in the care of colchicum is the need to loosen the soil and remove weeds.
About transplanting an autumn flower
This culture can safely be without transplant for up to seven years. Then a mandatory transplant is required.
If you have got yourself a crocus, then it is best to transplant it once every three years. If tightened, the small bulbs will interfere with each other, the tightness will affect the size of the bulbs.
Colchicum should be planted or transplanted at the end of summer, that is, during rest. But the bulbs should be dug out earlier, immediately after the leaves turn yellow (second half of June).
The bulbs are carefully freed from the soil and removed all that is left of the leaves. Separate the daughter bulbs from the main (maternal) bulbs. It is important to remember that mothers are no longer used.
Next, the bulbous planting material is washed and kept for half an hour in a solution of potassium permanganate in order to disinfect them. Next, the bulbs are dried and removed for storage in a dark, non-humid room, where it is about 24 ° C. In August, daughter bulbs are planted in fertilized soil (see above for how to do this).
About diseases and various dangers for colchicum
Colchicum can be fond of many snails and slugs. These harmful insects destroy the leaves. We have already spoken about the reasons for these troubles above - this is waterlogging of the soil. With severe waterlogging, gray rot may appear, among other things, which is considered a fungal disease.
For the prevention of all these harmful insects and various diseases, in addition to competent watering between the rows of plantings, the plants are sprinkled with crumbs of crushed sea shells (shells), some fine gravel, eggshells are also suitable. Another option is to place a plastic gutter along the border of the garden, where water is poured. This design is an excellent protection against harmful creatures: not a single snail or slug will get to your plants.
It is almost impossible to cure gray rot. Unless the flowers are slightly infected. In this case, the bushes are treated with the help of "Champion", "Topaz", "Kuproksat" or something similar. Before starting treatment, the affected areas are cut and burned. After processing, be sure to revise the frequency of watering.
As soon as the crocus fades ...
Some, wishing to preserve the attractiveness of the site, remove the leaves of the crocus along with the faded flowers. However, the leaves should not be removed, as they help ripen the bulb. You should only get rid of those leaves that have already fallen off.
About the main types and varieties
Almost all types of colchicum bloom in the fall. But, nevertheless, there are exceptions to the rules that bloom in spring and delight their owners. True, spring crocus is not widely popular.
About spring-flowering species
About crocus yellow / Colchicum luteum /
it is known that it grows mainly in rocky places in the Himalayas, the Pamirs, the Tien Shan and Tibet mountains. I have been cultivating it since the end of the 19th century. The plant begins to bloom in early spring. The average diameter of flowers is 30 mm, in height it reaches 150 mm, the color is deep yellow. The flat leaves are deep green in color, they come to the surface at the same time as the flowers.
About colchicum Hungarian
it is known that in addition to its homeland of Hungary, this species is also found in the territories of several countries - in Greece, Albania, Sebia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, etc. Flowers appear in February, as well as at the very beginning of spring. Pinkish-reddish or snow-white flowers with wine-colored anthers are a very beautiful sight. In addition, on the upper side and on the edge of the leaves there is a kind of thick fluffy cover, which also attracts attention. The most popular of this type is Velebit Star, which is often called the "star of the Croatian mountains".
About crocus Ankara,
or three-leaf, or Bieberstein (an early ephemeroid) it is known that it is found in countries such as Moldova, Ukraine, Crimea, Turkey. Each plant has three narrow and long gray leaves with cilia at the edge, and two to three or four mauve flowers.
It is known about the colchicum "Regel" ("Kesselring") that in nature it is found in the Alpine mountains above 2000 meters above sea level. In addition to the Alps, the places of growth are the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains. Its bulbs are elongated with leaves that have a smooth edge. Flowers are white, on one plant - up to 4 pieces, on the petals - purple stripes. It blooms in early spring as soon as the snow melts. The most popular colchicums of this type are water-loving, bunchy and Shovich.
About autumn-flowering species
Colchicum in autumn, found in many European countries (Latvia, England, Western France, etc.), has favorite growing places - above 2 thousand meters above sea level. The height of the bush is up to 0.4 m, the leaves are flat and oblong grow until the beginning of summer, and then wither. One bulb produces up to four lilac or snow-white flowers (up to 70 mm in diameter).
A little about the most popular types.
The autumn whites
colchicum, quite rare in nature, flowers appear in September, one bulb gives 5-7 flowers up to 150 mm high. The central part of the flower is yellowish with snow-white perianths.
colchicums are the latest, they begin to bloom in the days of the last October decade. Flowers - purple, up to 120 mm high, with a flower diameter up to 5o mm. One flower has up to 35 petals.The leaves can be up to 25о mm long, up to 50 mm wide, dark green in color.
Autumn white terry colchicum hides about 45 petals on each white flower. The time for flowers to appear is mid-September.
Have neddiste, which is bred in the Czech Republic, the flowers are pale pink.
There are species with petals of different shades of purple. Purple-pink petals with a white center, like Backonsfield.
Now - about Kolhikum magnificent,
found on the Turkish, Caucasian land, in the north of Iran, the growth is larger in comparison with other species and reaches up to 0.5 meters. Dense green leaves are also larger - up to 300 mm with a width of 60 mm. The leaves have wavy edges, they begin to dry out by summer. The flowers are large, lilac or mauve with a whitish tube. Blooms in September.
This species is famous for many different forms: colchicums are burgundy, whitish, huge, etc.
Popular varieties: Huxley (with many mauve flowers that turn purple over time), Waterlily (this colchicum has double purple flowers), Premier (this late-blooming colchicum has bright purple-pink flowers).
There are a whole lot of autumn-blooming colchicums, flowers - of various shades, leaves - of different shapes and sizes. Kolhikums are now very popular among gardeners, both beginners and professionals.