Autumn crocus

The cute little flowering plant grown for producing Saffron !
Common name : Autumn crocus
Scientific name : Crocus sativus
Family : Iridaceae
Category : Bulbs
Type of plant : Perennial
Easy peasy
Easy peasy
Edible
Edible
Flowery
Flowery
Frost resistant
Frost resistant
Crocus sativus - Saffron crocus, or autumn crocus - is a species of flowering plant of the Crocus genus in the Iridaceae family. It is best known for producing the spice saffron - considered to be the most valuable spice by weight - from the filaments that grow inside the flower. The term "autumn crocus" is also mistakenly used for flowers in the Colchicum species. However, crocuses have 3 stamens and 3 styles, while colchicum have 6 stamens and 1 style and are toxic.

Sowing & planting

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Flowering

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Harvestint

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Caracteristics

Exposition
Water needs
Granulométrie plants.granulometry_3
Frost-resistance High
Zone USDA 5b
Height 15 - 20
pH 6.5 - 7

Identify my autumn crocus

Crocuses are sometimes confused with colchic! For most crocuses, which bloom in the spring, it is easy not to be wrong, since colchicum flowers in autumn. But for Crocus cartwrightianus - and besides his cousin with lilac flowers, Crocus sativus too - how to do? It's simple: the number of stamens differentiates them: 6 for colchics and 3 for crocuses. Voila.

Plant my autumn crocus

Plant your saffron crocuses in the summer for a flowering in autumn, in a sunny position, in groups of 3 bulbs, and spaced each 8 cm. Good to know: the earlier you plant, the more crocuses will enjoy the summer heat to start their life cycle ... so they will bloom early! The planting depth can vary between 10 and 20 centimeters depending on your climate: deeper in hot and dry zone, and less in wet zone - but never less than 10 or above 20! Water once at the plantation. At the emergence, water in case of prolonged drought.

Water my autumn crocus

In the first year, watch for vegetation recovery, and water in case of drought. In cases where they are grown in pots, your crocuses may require weekly watering during dry periods.

Propagate my autumn crocus

The multiplication of the crocus is done by dividing the bulbs during the period of dormancy, when flowers and leaves have faded. Separate the bulbils and replant them a few centimeters away.

Reap my autumn crocus

Be patient! You will need to harvest about 150 flowers to get one gram of the precious spice - and you will have to harvest every day during flowering! Harvesting occurs in autumn, from October to November, depending on the region and weather conditions: the flowers hatch when the morning temperatures drop below 10 ° C. The stigmas are ripe when they come out of the flower: cut them ideally every day, in the middle or late morning, when the dew has dissipated. Let them dry in the sun or twenty minutes in a barely hot oven (60 °C): this is your saffron! After flowering, do not cut the leaves: they allow the bulb to regenerate and produce each year 2 or 3 small bulblets that you can transplant elsewhere or leave in the same place - for more flowers!

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