Crocus sativusValued for millennia for its three extra-long orange-red stigmas used for seasoning, medicine and dye. The domesticated sterile flower opens broadly in the October sun, with classic crocus leaves. Petals range from light lilac to violet with darker veins. While it takes about 68,000 flowers to make a pound of saffron, you can begin your home supply, harvesting and drying the stigmas at just the right fleeting moment as the morning dew dries.
May not bloom the first autumn. Plant in a sunny well-drained protected spot where they will be visible. Prefers friable well-watered, well-drained soil high in organic matter and full sun. Lightly forking the bed in summer when corms are dormant will help separate and spread bulblets in the bed.
Not found in the wild; genetic research points to domestication in eastern Greece or Crete over 3500 years ago.
Some say only hardy to Zone 6, but others say Zone 5 with good drainage and a deep mulch over the winter.
3–4" tall. Fall blooming, Z5-9. 8-9cm bulbs. Ships early September only. Last date to order this item is Friday, August 14.
6105 Saffron Crocus
These true crocus, close cousins to the spring flowers, are not toxic like the fall-blooming Colchicum; indeed, saffron crocus forms one of the world’s great spices.
Plant these in a sunny well-drained somewhat protected spot where they will be visible during their mid-late fall bloom.