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Saffron – a spice obtained from flower of Crocus Sativus

Images of Saffron at

Saffron is a spice that is obtained from the flower of Crocus sativus, also known as saffron crocus.

Overview of Saffron

• Crocus is a genus belonging to the family Iridaceae.
• Each saffron crocus can grow up to a height of 20–30 cm (8–12 in).
• Each bears up to four flowers.
• The dried stigmas are used mainly in various cuisines.
• This is used as a seasoning and coloring agent.
• Saffron is native to Greece or Southwest Asia.
• It was first cultivated in Greece.
• There are only a few per flower.
• Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.
• This is an autumn-flowering perennial plant.
• It is a sterile triploid form.
• The compact corms are small brown globules.
• These corns are as large as 5 centimeters (2.0 in) in diameter.
• Corms also bear vertical fibres.
• They are thin and net-like.
• They grow up to 5 cm above the plant’s neck.
• Crushed saffron threads are soaked in hot water for several minutes and used before in cuisine.

Uses of Saffron

Saffron has following uses:
• Anti-carcinogenic (cancer-suppressing)
• Anti-mutagenic (mutation-preventing)
• Immunomodulating
• Antioxidant-like properties

Scientific classification of Saffron

• Kingdom: Plantae
• (unranked): Angiosperms
• (unranked): Monocots
• Order: Asparagales
• Family: Iridaceae
• Subfamily: Crocoideae
• Genus: Crocus
• Species: C. sativus

Growing/Caring conditions for Saffron

• Find saffron crocus at a garden center.
• Saffron crocus plants must be started from a bulb.
• This bulb is called a crom.
• Improve the soil by adding some organic material.
• Saffron thrives in rich soil.
• Mix in some compost or other organic material.
• Add materials such as leaves or grass clippings, into the soil.
• Plant the croms in the spring or fall.
• The crocuses will sprout the following spring on planting in fall.
• Dig a 4-inch hole.
• Place the croms into the hole with the roots pointing downward.
• The croms should be spaced 4-inches apart as well.
• The freshness of the crocuses is vital.
• Plant them soon as danger of frost has passed.
• Keep the soil dry during the summer.
• Water more often in the fall.
• Saffron crocuses are dormant during the summer.
• Grow saffron crocus grows in USDA zones six and higher.
• Apply a thick layer of mulch during winter.
• Grow saffron inside in cold climates.
• Dig the bulbs up after the foliage has died.

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