Distribution and Resources of the Medicinal Plant Colchicum autumnale L. in Bulgaria

Ivanka Semerdjieva¹*, Stoyan Georgiev 2 , Koycho Koev ², Boriana Sidjimova³, Elina Yankova-Tsvetkova³
 

1 - Agricultural University – Plovdiv, Faculty of Agronomy, Department of Botany and Agrometeorology, Plovdiv, BULGARIA
2 –University of Plovdiv, Faculty of Biology, Department of Botany and Teaching Methods in Biology, Plovdiv 4000, BULGARIA
3 - Institute of Biodiversity and Ecological Research, Division of Flora and Vegetation, Department of Plant and Fungal Diversity, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BULGARIA
*Corresponding author: v_semerdjieva@abv.bg

 
Abstract. Colchicum autumnale (Colchicaceae) is a perennial geophyte and a medicinal plant. Its biomass is collected for industrial uses for obtaining the alkaloids colchicine and demecolcine. The objective of the present study was to estimate the distribution and potential resources of C. autumnale populations in Bulgaria in terms of their sustainable use. Monitoring of habitats was carried out in concrete harvesting areas. The distribution of the populations and the amount of drug production in specific sites and conditions were studied. In 2014-2015, eleven localities were established in seven floristic regions, spread on an area of 498000 m². Seed resources obtained from the different populations ranged from 3.57 g to 12225 g. The seed yield depends on the environmental conditions, the number of plants per m², the number of fruit capsules per plant and the weight of the seeds contained in them. Changes in the management approach to habitats occupied by C. autumnale caused degradation of the areas, resulting in the decrease of the population density of the species.
 
Key words: Colchicum autumnale, meadow saffron, autumn crocus, resources, medicinal plant, Bulgaria.
 

Ecologia Balkanica, 2017, vol. 9, Issue 1, pp. 39-51
Article № eb.16130 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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