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Crocus sativus (Saffron crocus)

Crocus sativus Photo/Illustration: Boyd Hagen

(Based on 1 user review)

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Crocus sativus KROW-kus sah-TY-vus Common Name: Saffron crocus Synonyms: C. sativus var. cashmirianus Genus: Crocus
The saffron crocus blooms in the autumn, producing 1 to 5 rich lilac flowers with dark purple veins, held wide open above inconspicuous foliage.
Noteworthy characteristics: Plants may bloom well the first year, but sparsely thereafter. Generally will not flower in cool, wet areas. Saffron, called "the world's most expensive spice,"  is obtained from the long, conspicuous, deep red style. It takes about 14,000 stigma to make one ounce of saffron threads.
Care: Plant 3 to 4 inches deep in late summer. Likes full sun and gritty, poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Prefers hot summers. Under glass, provide full light with gritty soil and ample water during growth. Keep dry during summer dormancy.
Propagation: Sterile, increasing only by division.
Problems: Mice, voles, and squirrels may eat the corms, while birds may pick off flowers. In storage, corms are prone to rots and molds.
Height Less than 6 in.
Spread Less than 6 in.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Moderate
Characteristics Showy Flowers
Bloom Time Fall
Flower Color Purple/ Lavender Flower
Uses Beds and Borders
Style Herb Garden, Rock Garden
Seasonal Interest Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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