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Saffron Crocus ~ ( Crocus Sativus ) 2011

amy

By amy

46 comments


Some of you may remember me planting a bed of 70 Saffron Crocus bulbs last year and then being disappointed when they grew but didn’t produce any flowers .
I left the bed alone hoping for better results in the following year ,Well I’m pleased and excited to report that this year they are blooming


Saffron is a beautiful and tough little plant that produces the worlds most expensive spice .
The lovely red Stigmas inside the crocus is the part you need to collect for the spice


Saffron harvesting is done by collecting the plants stigmas or flowers,either by scissors or hand ,preferably at dawn before or just as the crocus opens .
If you harvest when the flower is already open the saffron may lose some of its distinctive taste. Harvest can last for several weeks from October through to November .
Once you have finished harvesting you need to separate the orange /red stigmas from the flower and let them dry out thoroughly . After they have dried out they can be kept for several years providing they are stored in an airtight jar ..

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Comments

 

thank you for this amy, i have put it on my favourites, my sister gave me saffron bulbs for my birthday ~ they are all coming up ~ but perhaps i shouldnt expect any flowers this year?

4 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

That's interesting Sticki , you may well find like I did that you will have to wait another year , it's so exciting when they do flower I'm dashing out early in the morning ( not quite at dawn ) to see if there are any ready to be picked ..let me know what happens :o)

4 Oct, 2011

 

i shall, they are about and inch or inch and a half tall ~ no sign of buds!!!

4 Oct, 2011

 

How lovely Amy - glad you were patient!

4 Oct, 2011

 

Glad youve got the flowers this year.... good luck with the collecting...

4 Oct, 2011

 

Interesting ...

4 Oct, 2011

 

So pleased they flowered for you, very interesting blog.

4 Oct, 2011

 

interesting stuff amy, i didnt realise where it came from, so you get pretty flowers then safron as well. :o)

4 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thank you everyone I'm glad you found it interesting It will be fun using it in cooking , another interesting fact San the town of Saffron Waldon became famous for it's growing of Saffron .. :o)

4 Oct, 2011

 

Are you in one of the areas that had a hot drought this summer, Amy? I have tried this crocus on a few occaisions. The first year it failed to flower and never came back the second year. I am pleased to hear of someone having success.

4 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Yes we have been in the drought area Bh which could be why the crocus have done so well because they apparently like a dry summer , I actually had a sheet of glass ready to go over as a shelter if it became very wet but I didn't need to cover them at all .. I've read that the bulbs work themselves up to the surface so it's best to take them out every 2/3 years replanting the baby ones .. I'll do that when the time comes ...the other thing I did was to make it squirrel proof by putting boards round with wire netting round the sides and top because we do have problems with squirrel digging up bulbs , is it possible that they could have had yours ?

4 Oct, 2011

 

I didn't put mine in till July!

4 Oct, 2011

 

No squirrels, Amy, the nearest are reds in the forest three fields away. I suspect ours just rotted quietly!

4 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Ours are the common greys Bh , they have started a red squirrel breeding programme near us at Pensthorpe I believe they are doing well ...
Mine must have gone in at about that time last year Sticky ...

4 Oct, 2011

 

Well done Amy, I remember you buying the bulbs, excellent result.

4 Oct, 2011

 

Oh wow remember your blog Amy, talk about gold dust :-), a few quids worth there.

4 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thanks Dawn / Kathy , I'm very excited that they have bloomed this year , Kathy it did cross my mind that I could grow it on a large scale and sell it to Organic shops , I'm sure you would need a field full LOL...

4 Oct, 2011

 

Very interesting I have never associated the spice Saffron with the crocus,beautiful flowers too, good luck with your collecting, wouldnt they make lovely little gifts in glass bottles tied with a ribbon ;0)

4 Oct, 2011

 

I think I'd have left them in the garden to enjoy seeing them lol. They are a lovely colour.

5 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

That's a nice idea for a gift Carole , people don't think of Saffron as coming from a crocus it 's like Vanilla coming from an Orchid which it does ... but then when they die Hywel you are left with nothing , you can carefully pick the stigmas out with tweezers leaving the flower but if you have a lot of plants it would be difficult to know which ones you had taken it from and which ones not ,if you see what I mean .. plus I couldn't do with the crawling about on my knees LOL....

5 Oct, 2011

 

Love that last photo.
Love saffron, delish.
Glad they have flowered well this year! Vanilla coming from an orchid, well, I never knew that!!

5 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thanks Lulu , We learn something everyday Lulu LOL... yes Vanilla comes from Orchids have you bought a long vanilla pod and scraped the seeds out for a recipe , thats it ;o))

5 Oct, 2011

 

i have, many times, love fresh vanilla and yummy saffron.
The Big Fat Hairy Bikers had a pud recipe using pinapple and strawberries, topped with yogurt flavoured with ccardamom and saffron, it was delishious and very 'fresh'.

5 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

That sounds lovely Lulu , I have been watching the BFHB this last week encouraging folk to do the meals on wheels service with fresh food ,they are making a good job of it to with very little money per head . it looks likely to spread to other counties , I think finding the volunteers also a kitchen to work in could be the main problems facing them ..

5 Oct, 2011

 

True Amy. I saw that programme too.
I used to be a cook. Thought of volunteering but with 2 jobs was wondering how I could fit it all in?

5 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I wouldn't try Lulu , you can only do so much ,you would be too tired and your health has to come first ........

5 Oct, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

Amy great news, any sign of leaves from small bulbs along side the main ones,probably asking a lot this soon.

6 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thanks Brian , I have seen small side shoots I'm assuming that they are from new baby bulbs, apparently they are called daughters ! the original bulbs should be taken up every 2/3 years and replaced by the daughters I'm not sure if it would make sense to have two beds so that the daughters can be maturing while still harvesting the older ones , what do you think you would do ?

6 Oct, 2011

bjs
Bjs
 

Amy
you may feel after several years you visually want to see how well they are increasing,otherwise i would top dress with some fresh compost( only a sprinkling) and add a suitable fertilizer midsummer while they are dormant. In the wild i guess the old bulb would die but not for a good number of years.

6 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thanks Brian , I'm sure I shall have to take a peep at some stage ☺ I think thats a good idea about putting fertilzer on in the summer I didn't do anything with them this year . I saw some Crocus in the wild when we were in France and wondered if they were Saffron but now that I have seen my own I know they weren't they didn't have the red Stigmas in them !

6 Oct, 2011

 

You would not see saffron crocus in the wild, Amy. It is thought to be a form of Crocus cartwrightianus (Greece) selected many hundreds of years ago for its long red styles. No one has found it in recent times. We grow cartwrightianus in the bulb frame but the flowers are just too pretty to damage.

6 Oct, 2011

 

we learn so much on here not just about the plants but about places to amy :o)

6 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Thank you for the information Bh ... they are very pretty I can understand you not wanting to damage them , we do learn a lot here San about so many things ,it's one of the nice things about the site ,there's always somebody who can come up with an answer to your questions .. :o)

6 Oct, 2011

 

How many saffron crocus's make a tbs of saffron?

7 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I'll let you know when I have a tbs Lulu LOL...

7 Oct, 2011

 

Enjoyed this too..learned lots of new things. Thanks Amy!

7 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I'm glad you enjoyed it Tet ... :o)

8 Oct, 2011

 

Oh my goodness, really....not a tbs yet, after all those Crocus'.......maybe I won't give it a go, no wonder it's so expensive!!

8 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

They kind of shrivel up when they are drying Lulu , Yes I can definitely see why it's so expensive .. you need so much of it !

8 Oct, 2011

 

Really pleased to read of the progress of the Saffron, Amy ... have read through each and every comment ... GoY is such an informative site ... :o)))

12 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I'm glad it has been of help to you Shirley , yes GOY is so helpful especially to amateurs like me who need to know so much ...;o)

12 Oct, 2011

 

Thank you all who have contributed information for this blog. I bought a pack of 8 bulbs yesterday and had been looking for information on how to grow them and harvest them. I looked at one site I think pacific bulbs but I also came across this site which has some interesting information. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crocus+sativus
One of the important notes was that they should not be planted in close vicinity of other crocus. I had decided to put a question on asking about this bulb abd showing a photograph of what they look like. It also said to harvest the flowers to keep them flowering.

30 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I keep mine quite separate Scotsgran in a the vegetable part of the garden I have them in a square section with boards roughly 6/8 high round the edges also with some netting over the top to stop the squirrels running off with them , I harvest mine every morning , there haven't been any this week I'm not sure if the sun is a factor here there looks to be some more to come you can continue harvesting all through Oct/Nov... good luck with yours I'm off to read the info on the site you have found .......

30 Oct, 2011

 

This is a very interesting blog Amy. I did not realise when I bought them that I was buying a harvestable crop. I just wanted autumn crocus and had not expected to find them at this time of year. I was busy talking to another customer who was quite upset because he could not find a certain daffodil/narcissus. We did not find the one he wanted but i spotted a couple which were satisfactory for him, he lives in a very exposed area and wanted 6"high daffodils. By then I needed to go so grabbed the crocus and only discovered today that they were already growing. I was looking for and found some Tulip Tarda. We have squirrels visit the garden and all this netting and separation is not me at all. If they run off with them a neighbour will get a surprise. Bb suggested planting them in a pot and taking them inside a cold greenhouse when it is very cold but I think I might just plant them and hope for the best. I can always cover them with a heavy sheet of glass if it is very cold and wet. I did discover they like dry, well drained areas so that would be achievable. I did have some autumn crocus in flower but they have gone past and I would like some more but will need to be more organised in future. I'll put them on my August wish list for next year.

30 Oct, 2011

amy
Amy
 

I cover my plants with sheets of glass in the spring resting them on the wooden board surround Scotsgran ,we had such a dry summer that I took them off in fact we still have had very little rain it,s getting to be a serious problem here .
I gave my son a few bulbs to get him started they mutiply each year , he put his in pots , mine are blooming but he hasn't had any in flower at all so i'm not sure that pots are a good idea , you need to take off the baby bulblets every couple of years and replant them . I don't know about taking them into the greenhouse because mine are situated permanately in the garden ..good luck for next year :o)

31 Oct, 2011

 

I decided to make up my mind and plant them outside. They will have to take their chances. I can easily place a glass sheet over them and maybe I should do it now. I think I won't be likely to get flowers from these bulbs because it is too wet and cold here. If I lose them I won't worry too much although I hate killing plants. I do use saffron but not so much that I have the space or the inclination to harvest it for myself. I will be over the moon if I actually get flowers and do manage to harvest saffron. Its an addiction this gardening lark and I think I need to start a Gardeners anonymous. I'd happily send rain your way if we had a choice. Between high winds and rain we have had a miserable summer but the garden is happily flowering like mad. I've almost finished refurbishing my island bed in the front garden using plants I have seen featured on here and I am hoping they will survive to give us a good show from February through to next autumn. It is very helful to be able to discuss plans with fellow gardeners.

31 Oct, 2011

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