Monday, 25 June 2012

Saffron flowers details.

Saffron crocus

Scientific classification
Species:C. sativus
Binomial name
Crocus sativus
 That above table is from wikipedia.                                                                                                                                             

Saffron Crocus.

Saffron threads come from the female portion of the crocus flower (Crocus Sativus). Although saffron is expensive to buy, you can grow your own supply if you have some patience. After an initial planting of ten to twenty corms (much like bulbs), a few flowers will multiply into a good saffron harvest.

How To Grow Saffron Crocus Bulbs.

Saffron Crocus

 Saffron has often been described as a spice that is worth more than its weight in gold. It is so expensive that you may wonder “Can I grow saffron crocus bulbs and harvest my own saffron?” The answer is yes, you can grow saffron in your home garden. Keep reading to learn how to grow saffron.
 Although the crocus is famous for being one of the first flowers of spring, the saffron crocus is a fall bloomer. Crocus Sativa is hardy in zones six through nine, and thrives in full sun with rich, well-drained soil. It also prefers a sheltered location. Avoid windy spots, or areas that stay wet in the heat of summer, around down spouts or at the bottom of slopes.plant them four inched deep and about four to six inches apart in late spring to early summer.A favourite of gophers, crocus should be protected with a mesh enclosure or other varmint resistant device. Years where there is a long, hot summer will give you the best harvest. 
The saffron crocus will send up flowers in late September to early October that will last for about three weeks. A good bloomer, look for upright, spiky lavender blossoms of about four to five inches with long red stigmas. These red stigmas are the saffron. The saffron crocus will grow additional corms from the mother plant. After three years, the corms can be dug up (during the summer when the plant is dormant), divided, and replanted. Break off the smaller outer corms from the mother plant and replant them in a separate location or at a distance of four to six inches from other plantings. Periodic thinning of the corms, at lease once every six years, will keep your crocus plants healthy and blooming well. Three red stigmas occur in each bloom and should be harvested in the morning when the flowers have fully opened. Carefully remove them from the flower with tweezers and dry them in a dehydrator or in a warm dark location. To avoid spoilage, give your saffron plenty of time to dry and store it in a dark, tightly capped container. Delicately flavoured and useful spice. Beyond the traditional rice dishes, saffron can be used in meat and fish recipes, as well as in soups, breads, and cakes. It makes a relaxing addition to tea, and can help settle an upset stomach.
Historically, saffron was used as a fabric dye, hair dye, an aphrodisiac, and as an ingredient in perfume. In your kitchen, homegrown saffron can help you create memorable meals at a fraction of the cost of its commercially available counterpart.

 Saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulbs or Crocus sativa, which is an autumn blooming crocus. The spice is actually the red stigmas of this crocus flower. Each flower will only produce 3 stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce 1 flower.
 Saffron plants need well draining soil and lots of sun. If saffron crocus is planted in swampy or poor draining soil, it will rot. Other than needing good soil and sun, saffron crocus are not picky.
When you plant your saffron crocus bulbs, place them in the ground at about 3-5 inches deep and at least 6 inches apart. About 50-60 saffron flowers will produce about 1 tablespoon of saffron spice so keep this in mind when figuring how many to plant. But, also keep in mind that saffron crocus multiply rapidly, so in a few years time you will have more than enough.
After your saffron crocus bulbs are planted, they need very little care. They will be hardy down to -15F. You can fertilize them once a year, though they grow fine without being fertilized as well. You can also water them if the rainfall in your area falls below 1.5 inches per week.
Growing saffron crocus is easy and certainly makes the expensive spice much more affordable. Now that you know how to grow saffron plants, you can give this spice a try in your herb garden. Saffron, is the most precious and most expensive spice in the world. The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativas Linneaus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world's most precious spice.

But, because of saffron's strong coloring power and intense flavor, it can be used sparingly. Saffron is used both for its bright orange-yellow color and for its strong, intense flavor and aroma. "Crocus Sativus Linneaus" contains crocin, the source of its strong coloring property, bitter-crocin, which offers the distinctive aroma and taste and essential oils, which are responsible for its therapeutic properties.

Saffron is available both in filaments and powder, though the long, deep red filaments are usually preferable to the powder as the latter can be easily adulterated. Today, the greatest saffron producing countries are Greece, Spain, Turkey, Iran, India, and Morocco. The largest saffron importers are Germany, Italy, U.S.A., Switzerland, U.K., and France.

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