The Effect of Corm Weight and Soil Nutrition on Agromorphological Characteristics of Colchicum kotschyi Boiss. as a Medicinal Plant

Document Type : Scientific - Research


1 Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

2 Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Colchicum kotschyi Boiss is a perennial, herbaceous and medicinal plant, belong to Colchicaceae family which have corm or rarely creeping stem. Colchicum species have been considered as a medicinal plant due to having divers active components in different plant parts which have been using as drug and toxin for 2000 years ago. The most important secondary metabolic compounds in plants are alkaloids. There is much evidence that the alkaloids influence on plant growth assimilating or regulatory factor. Colchicum active ingredient is colchicine. Colchicine is an alkaloid which is found in all parts of the plant such as corms, seeds, leaves and flowers and is concerned because of the pharmacological properties (anti-inflammatory) and applications in biological studies and plant breeding (induction of polyploidy). Corm weight is an important factor for producing more active component such as Colchicine. Soil fertility management is another factor that determine the quality and quantity of plant growth. However bulbous plants compared to the other plants require more attention in terms of nutritional management, because their roots are shallow and the absorption of sedentary nutrients in the soil is more difficult. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of corm weight and organic and chemical fertilizers on morphological characteristics of Colchicum kotschyi.
Material and Methods
In order to evaluate the effect of corm weight and soil nutrition on morphological characteristics of Colchicum kotschyi Boiss., a field experiment was conducted as factorial layout based on a randomized complete block design with three replications at Research Station, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, in years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. The experimental treatments were all combination of corm weight (more than 40g and less than 40g), cow manure (0 and 50 t.ha-1), urea fertilizer (0 and 50 kg.ha-1) and superphosphate fertilizer (0 and 25 kg.ha-1). Colchicum corms in the summer which the plant is in the dormancy phase, were collected from the natural area located in the Binaloud Mountains, Frizi region Razavi Khorasan province. Because of the very much variation between collected corms in terms of their weight and in order to equalize the effect of corm weight between treatments, the mother corm was considered as one of the studied factors. Before sowing, land preparation including plowing and disk operations were conducted. The corms were sown in each plot (1×1 m) 25 cm apart at the depth of 15cm. Irrigation and weed control was done if needed. With the gradual yellowing of the leaves and when the color of capsules was changed from green to brown (late June), the plants were harvested. Data analysis and drawing graphs were done by the software SAS Ver.9.1, MS Excel Ver.11and the comparisons using LSD test was performed at the level of 5%.
Results and Discussion
The results in both years showed that at the end of the growing season, the more weighted maternal corms produced more weighted daughter corms. Corm diameter, stem diameter, stem dry weight, leaf dry weight, leaf area, whole plant weight, leaf number and cormlet number were improved in more weighted corms (p≤0.05). Studies have shown that the early growth of the plant and its vital capacity are determined by the amount of food provided to the growing plant, by the maternal corm. Since the larger corms have more storage materials, the resulting plants are more grown and have thicker stems and larger leaves (larger aerial parts) and, in general, the dry weight of the whole plant was higher. In both years of experiment, all of the morphological characters were improved in 50 t.ha-1 cow manure treatment compared to control. Organic fertilizers improve soil structure, improve root development, regulate soil temperature and population of useful microorganisms, provide nutrients for the plant, and help to improve the absorption of nutrients by the plant. Therefore, the application of manure with all of the above-mentioned benefits improves vegetative growth and dry weight. In the second year, superphosphate increased corm diameter, leaf area and whole plant weight (p≤0.05). The interaction effects of cow manure × corm weight on leaf area and stem diameter was significant at both years (p≤0.05).
Generally, the results showed that Colchicum kotschyi Boiss. can respond to optimum levels of the fertilizers. Cow manure in combination with superphosphate can improve morphological characters in the field conditions.


Alali, F., El-Alali, A., Tawaha, K.H., and Al Elimat, T. 2006. Seasonal variation of colchicine content in Colchicum brachyphyllum and Colchicum tunicatum (Colchicaceae). Natural Product Research 20: 1121-1128.
Al-Fayyad, M., Alali, F., and Al-Tell, A. 2003. Effect of NPK fertilizer levels on morphological characteristics and productivity of Colchicum hierosolymitanum and Colchicum tunicatum. Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants (10) 4: 11-17.
Alirezaei Noghondar, M., Aruei, H., Rezazadeh, S., and Shoor, M. 2011. Effect of different levels of nitrogen on corm yield and colchicine content in plantation of C. Kotschyi Bioss without soil. In: Proceedings of National Conference of Medicinal Plants, 2-3 Mar., University of Mazandaran, Sari, Iran. (In Persian)
Alirezaei Noghondar, M., Aruei, H., Rezazadeh, S., and Shoor, M. 2012. Effect of different levels of biological and chemical nitrogen fertilizers on corm yield and colchicine content of C. Kotschyi Bioss under natural conditions. Journal of Medicinal Plants 9: 91-103. (In Persian with English Summary)
Amiri, M. 2009. Comparison of animal manure and chemical fertilizers on saffron (crocus sativus) cultivation. In: Proceedings of the International Plant Nutrition Colloquium XVI. University of California, California, USA.
Arefi, I., Kafi, M., Khazaei, H.R., and Bannayan, M. 2012. Effect of different levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium on yield, photosynthesis, photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll and nitrogen concentration of Persian shallot (Allium altissimum Regel.). Journal of Agroecology 4(3): 207-214. (In Persian with English Summary)
Behdani, M.A., Koocheki, A., Nassiri Mahallati, M., and Rezvani Moghaddam, P. 2005. Evaluation of quantitative relationships between saffron yield and nutrition (on farm trial). Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 3(1): 1-14. (In Persian with English Summary)
Bahadoran, M., Salehi, H., and Eshghi, S. 2011. Growth and flowering of tuberose as affected by adding poultry litter to the culture medium. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 9(2): 531-356.
Brewster, J.L. 1994. Onion and Other Vegetable Alliums. CAB International, UK, 334 pp.
Chaji, N., Khorassani, R., Astaraei, A., and Lakzian, A. 2013. Effect of phosphorus and nitrogen on vegetative growth and production of daughter corms of saffron. Journal of Saffron Research 1: 1-12. (In Persian with English Summary)
Chandra, S., Ravat, T.S., Lakhavat, S.S., and Yadav, K.K. 2012. Effect of organic manures and biofertilizers on the yield parameters of gladiolus (Gladiolus sp.) CV. White prosperity. Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper 18: 91-94.
Frankova, L., Cibirova, K., Boka, K., Gasparikova, O., and Psenak, M. 2004. The role of the roots in the life strategy of Colchicum autumnale. Biologia, Bratislava 13: 87-93.
Gangadharan, G.D., and Gopinath, G. 2000. Effect of organic and inorganic fertilizers on growth, flowering and quality of Gladiolus cv. White prosperity. Karnataka Journal of Agricultural Sciences 13(2): 401-405.
Haider, M.M., Rao, M.V., and Murty, A.S. 1981. Effects of nitrogen on growth and development of gladiolus. Indian Journal of Horticulture 38(3-4): 241-245.
Hassanzadeh Aval, F., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Bannayan Aval, M., and Khorasani, R. 2013. Effect of maternal corm weight and different levels of cow manure on corm and flower yield of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Saffron Agronomy & Technology 1(1): 22-39.
Kabir, A.K.M.R., Iman, M.H., Mondal, M.M.A., and Chowdhury, S. 2011. Response of tuberose to integrated nutrient management. Journal of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources 4(2): 55-59.
Karim, A., Aslam Khan, M., Rehman, S.U., and Afzal, I. 2013. Different corm sizes affect performance of Gladiolus grandifloruscvs. Red majesty and early yellow. Advances in Zoology and Botany 1(4): 86-91.
Khalaj, M.A., and Edrisi, B. 2012. Effect of plant spacing and nitrogen levels on quantity and quality characteristics of tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa L.) under field experiment. International Journal of Agriscience 2(3): 244-255.
Koocheki, A., Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Mollafilabi, A., and Seyyedi, S.M. 2014. The effects of high corm density and manure on agronomic characteristics and corm behavior of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in the second year. Journal of Saffron Research 1(2): 144-155. (In Persian with English Summary)
Koocheki, A., Seyyedi, S.M., Azizi, H., and Shahriyri, R. 2014. The Effects of mother corm size, organic fertilizers and micronutrient foliar application on corm yield and phosphorus uptake on saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Saffron Agronomy and Technology 1(2): 3-16. (In Persian with English Summary)
Kuepper, G. 2000. Manures for Organic Crop Production. ATTRA, Fayetteville AR72702, from http://www.
Mammadov, R., Düsen, O., Uysal (DEMIR), D., and Köse, E. 2009. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of extracts from tubers and leaves of Colchicum balansae Planchon. Journal of Medicinal Plant Research 3(10): 767-770.
Molina, R.V., Valero, M., Navarro, Y., Guardiola, J.L., and Garcia- Luice, A. 2005. Temperature effects on flower formation in saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Scientia Horticulture 103: 361-379.
Mukhopadhayay, A. 1995. Gladiolus. Publication and information division. Indian Council of Agricaltural. Research. Krishi Anusandhan bhavan, New Delhi p. 1-83.
Nassiri Mahallati, M., Koocheki, A., Boroumand Rezazadeh, Z., and Tabrizi, L. 2008. Effect of corm size and storage period on allocation of assimilates in different parts of saffron plant (Crocus sativus L.). Iranian Journal of Field Crops Research 5: 155-166. (In Persian with English Summary)
Pant, S.S. 2005. Effect of different doses of nitrogen and phosphorus on the corm and cormel development of Gladiolus CV. American beauty. Journal of Institute of Agriculture and Animal Sciences 26: 153-157.
Persson, K. 1992. Liliaceae III. Subfam. I. Wurmbaeoideae. In: Rechinger K.H. (Ed.), Flora Iranica. Akademische Druck- u.Verlagsanstalt, Graz, Austria.
Poutaraud, A., and Girardin, P. 2002. Alkaloids in meadow saffron, Colchicum autumnale L. Journal of Herbs Spices and Medicinal Plants 9: 63-80.
Poutaraud, A., and Girardin, P. 2003. Seed yield and components of alkaloid of meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale) in natural grassland and under cultivation. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 83: 23-29.
Poutaraud, A., and Girardin, P. 2005. Influence of chemical characteristics of soil on mineral and alkaloid seed content of Colchicum autumnale. Environmental and Experimental Botany 54: 101-108.
Rao I.M. 1996. The Role of Phosphorus in Photosynthesis. In Pessarakli, M. (Ed.) Handbook of Photosynthesis. Marcel Dekker p. 173-194. NewYork, United State of America.
Rezvani Moghaddam, P., Koocheki, A., Mollafilabi, A., and Seyyedi, M. 2013. Effect of biological and chemical fertilizers on replacement corm and flower yield of saffron (Crocus sativus L.). Iranian Journal of Crop Sciences 15(3): 234-246. (In Persian with English Summary)
Sabete Teimoori, M., Kafi, M., Avarsaji, Z., and Orooji, K. 2010. Effect of drought stress, corm size and corm tunic on morphoecophysiological characteristics of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) in greenhouse conditions. Journal of Agroecology 2(2): 323-334. (In Persian with English Summary)
Salo, T., Suojala, T., and Kallela, M. 2002. The effect of fertigation on yield and nutrient uptake of cabbage, carrot and onion. Acta Horticulture 571: 235-241.
Sharma, R.P. 1992. Effect of planting material, nitrogen and potash on bulb yield of rainy season onion (Allium cepa L.). Indian Journal of Agronomy 37: 868-869.
Shaukat, S.A., Ali Shah, S.Z., Ishaq, Y., Ahmed, M., Shaukat, S.K., and Shaukat, S.W. 2012. Influence of phosphorus fertilization on Gladiolus corm and flower production. Scientific Journal of Agriculture 1(5): 105-111.
Teimori, S., Behdani, M.A., Ghaderi, M.G., and Sadeghi, B. 2013. Investigation on the effect of organic and chemical fertilizers on morphological and agronomic characteristics of saffron (Crocus sativus L.) corm criteria. Journal of Saffron Research 1(1): 36-47. (In Persian with English Summary)
Vetayasuporn, S. 2006. Effects of biological and chemical fertilizers on growth and yield of shallot (Allium cepa var. ascolonicum) production. Journal of Biological Sciences 6(1): 82-86.
Zebarth, B.J., Neilsen, G.H., Hogue, E., and Neilsen, D. 1999. Influence of organic waste amendments on selected soil physical and chemical properties. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 79: 501-504.