Saffron

Scientific Name: 
Crocus sativus
Family Name: 
Iridaceae
Place of Origin: 
Southwest Asia
Plant Description: 
The Saffron Crocus plant gives us the mauve/lilac/purple flower that in Autumn gives us the world's most expensive spice: saffron (the orange-red stigma of the flower). It must be replanted every year from its corms (underground bulb).
Plant Height: 
20cm-30cm
Plant Use: 
Edible
Beverage
Medicinal
Oil
Dye
Perfume
Of Interest: 
As you'd expect from a plant called "The Queen of Spices", it has a number of uses and has been used in folk medicine, herbal teas (not during pregnancy though!), as the dye of Buddhist monk robes and of course as a food flavouring and colouring. It is one of the most labour intensive spices to harvest and since the middle ages people have tried to "fake" saffron using everything from fibres of pomegranate to powdered turmeric.
Annual, Biannual or Perennial: 
Perennial
Plant Type: 
Flower
Climate: 
Temperate
Cool Temperate
Warm Temperate
Deciduous or Evergreen: 
Deciduous

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