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Saffron Crocus

Crocus sativus

Saffron, St Valentine's Rose, Blood of Thoth

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Saffron is obtained from the Crocus flower, which is born on a bulbous plant with grass or thread-like leaves. Saffron threads are the bright red stigmas and styles from the Crocus flowers.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

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.

Propagation

Division
Corms can be divided in the dormant season (summer).

Special features

Attractive flowers
The flowers grow near the soil and are a beautiful lilac colour.

Geography

Origin
Exact origin is unknown, but suspected to be Greece.
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
The stigmas and styles of the flowers are edible. Saffron is considered to be the most valuable spice by weight.

Personality

Family
Iridaceae
Flower colour
Purples
Scent
Mild

Problems

Mice and moles may feed on the corms. While in storage (dormant) the corms are susceptible to rots and moulds.

Companion plants

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

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