Anyone who visits Uzhanskyi NNP between the second half of August and first half of October will witness a picturesque sight – pink and purple carpet of flowers on the meadow along the main road. It’s Colchicum Autumnale in bloom, a herbaceous perennial plant from the lily family, which has an extraordinarily beautiful flower.
Colchicum is interesting not only because of its late flowering. Its fruits-boxes ripe next spring. Then shiny dark green leaves sprout. In early summer, the seed boxes crack, and the seeds are scattered around. During summer only shrivelled leaves and boxes of plants remain, and later on they too, disappear. But the plant hasn’t perished. At a depth of about 20 cm one or more buds in the bulb begin to develop: tender roots appear, as well as white stems and flower roll, which grows very quickly, reaches the surface and reveals its delicate petals.
In 1983 the reserves “Pasiky” and “Irtashy” were established in order to protect the places of mass growth of Colchicum Autumnale. The conservation reserve status prohibits grassland ploughing, changing the hydrological regime of soils, fertilizing, cattle grazing, picking flowers, and digging out the bulbs as planting material. Haymaking is only allowed after seeds of this rare plant are ripe in early July.
Source: Uzhanskyi national nature park
89000, Ukraine, Transcarpathian region, Veliky Berezny vil, Nezalezhnosti street, 7
Phone/fax: (03135) 2-10-37
e-mail: email@example.com, web: www.unpp.com.ua