Interesting Facts About Saffron
Saffron is a plant belonging to the iris family. There are over 80 different saffron species found in Southern Europe, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, China and Africa. Saffron lives in mountain ranges, rocky slopes, shrubs, and forest soils. Saffron is tolerant of low temperatures and cold weather. At high altitudes, you can see the beautiful flowers of saffron that are protruded from the snow. Human beings began cultivating saffron 500 years BC. This plant can be used as a spray, as a color and for medical purposes.
Facts about saffron plant
⇒ Saffron is a small herb that can reach 20 to 30 cm.
⇒ The color of the flower of saffron depends on the species. The colors of saffron flowers are usually yellow, white, mauve or lilac.
⇒ Saffron has single, cup-shaped flower that arises from long tube. The flower consists of six petals.
⇒ Saffron leaves are sword shaped and have a white central bar.
⇒ Saffron has corm which serves as underground storage system. Each year, at the start of the new growth season, new bulbs are created at the tip of the old bulb.
⇒ Saffron flower has both male and female reproductive organs. Each flower has three red crests (female sex organs) and three yellow fever (male sex organs).
⇒ Saffron is a spice obtained from the dried material reproduction organs (red rosette). This organ contains a pigment called crocin, which is yellow. Saffron flavor is used in most Mediterranean cuisines.
⇒ Saffron is the most expensive condiment in the world, because 80 000 plants is needed to make an ounce (approximately 28 grams) of saffron. All plants are picked up manually. 90 percent of the world’s saffron is produced in Iran.
⇒ The color obtained from the saffron plant was used in the cave art 50,000 years ago.
⇒ Saffron can be used in the production of perfume and in medicine. Some studies have shown that saffron has antibacterial properties and potentially anti-tumor effects, can improve memory and can be used to reduce cough, bronchitis and stomach ache.
⇒ Another is the use of saffron in the textile industry where it is used for dyeing of fabrics.
⇒ Certain species of saffron, such as Autumnale saffron, are toxic. This species, in addition to being hazardous (if consumed), shows the highest tolerance against low temperatures.
⇒ Different types of saffron blossoms at different times of the year, but the beautiful flowers of most species show themselves during the winter and spring.
⇒ Saffrons do their pollination with different types of insects, such as honey bees, butterflies and beetles.
⇒ Saffron is a perennial herb, meaning that every year parts of a plant that is above the surface of the earth dies and a new plant of its underground corm is created. Saffron can last for more than two years.