Propagation is by the formation of new corms from the parent corm, and by seeds.
The plants have a rhizome or corm, and the fruit is a capsule.
A new corm develops at the base of the new shoot.
The British Pharmacopoeia contains (i) an extract of the fresh corm, having doses of 4 to i grain, and (2) the Vinum Colchici, made by treating the dried corm with sherry and given in doses of 10 to 30 minims. This latter is the preparation still most generally used, though the presence of veratrine both in the corm and the seeds renders the use of colchicine itself theoretically preferable.
When inhaled, the powder causes violent sneezing, similar to that produced by veratrine itself, which is, as already stated, a constituent of the corm.