saffron bulbs
08/30/18  |  Views:179  

Shipping: August - October

Saffron Crocus (Crocus Sativus) is a very interesting Fall flowering specie. This variety will give plenty of blooms the first year throwing the expensive saffron spices used for many culinary dishes. The bulbs can be left in the ground for 6 consecutive years and your best harvest for saffron will be reached in the second year after planting. Many more years you can enjoy the Saffron in the Fall! We supply the biggest bulbs on the market, 9/10 cm. We will give the bulbs right after harvest in our climate controlled cells a special temperature treatment for a few weeks in order to enhance the saffron production for the first year. We hold an excellent stock which we have been contracting with the best grower for many years!

Saffron is said to make people cheerful and so will this little flower. The little crocus bulbs that flower before Christmas have been neglected, perhaps because everyone muddles them with the "autumn crocus" - the colchicums - which are a much coarser affair. Colchicums are members of the lily family whereas crocus belong to the iris group, which also includes such refined favorites as freesias, crocosmia and schizostylis. In Mediterranean countries, once the rains come and the earth turns green again, the grass is studded with tiny flower globes in blue, white or palest pink. They are delicate and their petals are translucent. The appeal of any flower that suggests spring as soon as the leaves begin to fall cannot be over-emphasized. You need all the color you can get when mornings are shrouded in fog and afternoons end at 4pm. 

Crocus sativus, the saffron crocus, was probably introduced here by the Romans. In Tudor times enough were grown in Essex to give the town of Saffron Walden its name. The orange filaments (try adding them to mashed potato with fish pie) were said to make people cheerful. So cheerful, according to Alice Coats in her book Flowers and their Histories, that one herbal reported "a lady of Trent . . . almost shaken to pieces with laughing immoderately for a space of three hours, which was occasioned by her taking too much saffron". It would be an expensive tonic these days. The price of the dried stigmas is sky high, but you could grow Crocus sativus yourself easily enough. Entrepreneurs might like to create a niche-market for culinary saffron. The rest of us can enjoy the flowers and an occasional treat for the pot. The flowers are large and purple, with darker veins and a violet center around the orange stigmas. It is a showy and rather modern color contrast, but this is not one to naturalize. It needs deep planting in good soil and plenty of sunshine. 

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