Crocus Sativus– biological name for Saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The threads of the flower are collected and dried. The saffron flower has 6 purple petals, 3 golden yellow stamens and one red pistil which shows as 3 stigmas (filaments). It is the dried stigma of the flower which gives the spice saffron.
Majorly saffron is used as a seasoning and colouring agent in food and it also contributes to the aroma of the dish. Since years saffron is the most expensive spice in the world sold by weight.
Best grown in
Dry and warm environment such as the Mediterranean and the Middle East and, perhaps most famously, La Mancha, Spain are known for Saffron production. Indian-administered Kashmir is known for its high-quality saffron. Saffron is grown commercially primarily in India, Spain and Iran. Other Saffron producing countries are Afghanistan, Italy, France, New Zealand, Pennsylvania, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Turkey and some parts of China. Since this plant is propagated in different parts of the world, planting techniques of the saffron cultivation may differ too, depending on the climate, the type of soil, depth of planting and spacing of corns.
The cultivation of saffron is a traditional art. In India, 5,707 hectares of land comes under its cultivation and 4,496 hectares lie exclusively in Jammu and Kashmir. Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir and its neighbouring areas produce an average of 2,128 kilograms of saffron every year.