Alkaloids are one of the most important groups of secondary metabolites used since prehistoric age. It has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent for a long time. Besides, as a potential mitotic poison, colchicine is applied to produce polyploid and double haploid plants by the plant breeders. Colchicine is a tricyclic proto-alkaloid, which has nitrogen atom in the side chain. Colchicine and its precursor autumnaline belong to phenethylisoquinoline group of alkaloids derived from tyrosine. Colchicine and its derivatives have been found in several genera such as Colchicum, Gloriosa, Merendera, Androcymbium, Sandersonia, etc. Biotic and abiotic factors are known to influence the production of secondary metabolites like colchicine in their natural ambience. Therefore, several biotechnological strategies like in vitro culture of colchicine-producing plants, media manipulation, precursor feeding, and application of elicitors have been practiced. After FDA approved colchicine as a drug in 2009, the demand of this high-value low-amount secondary metabolite increased significantly. So, to reduce the gap between demand and yield, the existing strategies should be improved, as well as new techniques can be applied to achieve the goal. The socioeconomic importance of colchicine is sure to encourage greater interest in near future. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.