Also known as
Saffron, St Valentine's Rose, Blood Of Thoth, Autumn Crocus
Photo by CandideUK (All rights reserved)
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Saffron Crocus
Saffron Crocus Overview
Crocus sativus is an autumn flowering corm that produces goblet-shaped, lilac-purple coloured blooms. Saffron - a precious spice for flavouring and colouring food - is obtained from the long, bright red, stigmas and styles in the centre of the flower. (Hence Crocus sativus's common names, among others, Saffron and Saffron Crocus.) Outside, grow Crocus sativus in a sunny position. It needs well-drained, poor to moderately fertile soil that is neutral to alkaline. Plant corms with the pointed end up at a depth of 10cm and only water once - in late summer - as they will rot if kept in damp conditions. Indoors, plant under glass in a free-draining growing medium, feed monthly and water regularly in the growing season but keep dry during dormancy. Crocus sativus is sterile so cannot be propagated by seed.
Common problems with Saffron Crocus
Mice and moles may feed on the corms. While in storage (dormant) the corms are susceptible to rots and moulds.
Saffron Crocus 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
How to harvest Saffron Crocus
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.
How to propagate Saffron Crocus
Corms can be divided in the dormant season (summer).
Seeds or bulbs.
Special features of Saffron Crocus
The flowers grow near the soil and are a beautiful lilac colour.
Attracts useful insects
'RHS Plants for Pollinators plant'
Other uses of Saffron Crocus
Culinary, border, edging, rock garden, naturaliser, walls, rock garden
The stigmas and styles of the flowers are edible. Saffron is considered to be the most valuable spice by weight.