MEDICINAL PARTS. The cormus and seeds.
    Description.--The cormus of this plant is large, ovate, and fleshy. The leaves are dark-green, very smooth, obtuse, about a foot long, an inch and a half broad, keeled, produced in the spring along with the capsules. Flowers several, bright-purple, with a white tube appearing in the autumn without the leaves. Fruit a capsule, seeds whitish and polished.
    History. -- It grows in meadows and low, rich soils in many parts of Europe, and is common in England. The plant is annual or perennial, according to the manner in which it is propagated. The root resembles that of the tulip, and contains a white acrid juice. The bulb should be gathered about the beginning of July, and the seeds early in August. Colchicia is the active principle.
    Properties and Uses. -- It is sedative, cathartic, diuretic, and emetic. Used in gout and gouty rheumatism, dropsy, palpitation of the heart; care should be used in its employment. The tincture is the best form of administration, of which the dose is from twenty to sixty drops.