Saffron Crocus Bulbs - (Crocus sativus)
- 10 bulbs
- Lilac Purple
- Bloom Time:
Saffron Crocus Bulbs - (Crocus sativus) - Grow Your Own Red Gold
This gorgeous, fall-blooming lilac-purple colored Saffron Crocus grows 4-6" high and is famous for the vibrant reddish-orange stigmas collected from its flowers, known and treasured as saffron. The costliest of all herbs and spices, 75,000 flowers are needed to make up a pound of pure saffron and is often worth more than its weight in gold.
The delicate, regal flowers each produce 2 - 3 reddish-orange stigmas, used for seasoning and coloring dishes since Roman times. Or enjoy them for their lovely fall flowers accompanied by a wonderful scent.
It is easy to harvest saffron, plant them and look forward to picking your very own "red gold". Look for the stigmas with each morning’s new blossoms, trailing from the throats of the flowers. After harvesting they will store in an airtight jar for at least a year.
Whether you grow it for its stigmas or just to add beauty, these tiny wonders belong in your garden, charming you and the pollinators they attract.
- Prefers an open, sunny position but may be grown in light shade.
- Grows well in-ground, in large planters, or containers.
- Thrives in well-drained soil that can dry out once the bulbs have gone dormant in April, once the foliage dies back. Dry soil during dormancy prevents bulb rot and encourages flowering next fall.
- Tolerant of summer heat and winter cold.
- Plant in fall. Cover bulbs with soil to three times their height.
- Usually blooms in October and November, depending on climate. Flowering begins approximately 40 days from planting, though some bulbs won’t flower the first year.
- Each bulb will produce up to 6 or more flowers over a two week period.
- Each bulb lasts one season, producing from 1 to 10 new ones, growing above the original bulb. As they gradually grow near to the surface, they will need lifting out, separating and replanting every few years, best done in August.
- Saffron is a fall-flowering crocus species
- Crocuses are not good cut flowers but can last a few days in a vase.
There are two methods of harvesting saffron, depending on if you want to retain the flowers after they bloom or not.
The traditional method is to pick the entire flower early in the morning just after sunrise before the dew has dried and it is still cool. Pick only the fully opened flowers, repeating each day for the length of the bloom.
After picking, deposit the flowers on a clean cloth on a table, then carefully remove each saffron thread by opening the flower. Place the threads on a clean plate and let them dry in a warm, dry environment until the next morning. Store in an airtight, light-proof container.
If you want to keep the blossoms, use tweezers to remove only the saffron threads, following the same early morning schedule and pick only those that have fully opened. Dry and store your saffron threads as above.
- It is essential not to remove the crocus leaves before they have yellowed as they are important in building up the corms and therefore, next season's flowering potential. Plantings may need lifting and dividing every 3-4 years, but can be left until corms start to push their way to the surface.
- Crocus grow from corms, very similar to a bulb.
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