2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
Crocus sativus is an autumn flowering corm that produces goblet-shaped, lilac-purple coloured blooms. Saffron - a precious spice for flavouring and colouring food - is obtained from the long, bright red, stigma and styles in the centre of the flower. (Hence Crocus sativus's common names, among others, Saffron and Saffron Crocus.) Outside, grow Crocus sativus in a sunny position. It needs well-drained, poor to moderately fertile soil that is neutral to alkaline. Plant corms with the pointed end up at a depth of 10cm and only water once - at planting time - as they will rot if kept in damp conditions. Indoors, plant under glass in a free-draining growing medium, feed monthly and water regularly in the growing season but keep dry in summer, during dormancy.
Mice and moles may feed on the corms. While in storage (dormant) the corms are susceptible to rots and moulds.
Saffron crocus make a bold color accent in fall herb gardens, and are an excellent companion plant for sweet peppers, squash, pumpkins, parsley, rosemary, and thyme
Flowers open with daylight and are harvested in the early morning before the flowers wilt. The stigmas and styles are removed by hand and then dried.
Corms can be divided in the dormant season (summer).
The flowers grow near the soil and are a beautiful lilac colour.
The stigmas and styles of the flowers are edible. Saffron is considered to be the most valuable spice by weight.