Saffron Crocus (Crocus sativus) in the Crocus Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Saffron Crocus
Give a thumbs up Crocus
Give a thumbs up Saffron
Give a thumbs up Species Crocus
Give a thumbs up Autumn Crocus

Botanical names:
Crocus sativus Accepted
Crocus sativus var. cashmerianus Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Plant Height: 6 inches
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Time: Fall
Underground structures: Corm
Uses: Culinary Herb
Will Naturalize
Propagation: Other methods: Offsets
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


What's Blooming in OctoberWhat's Blooming in October
October 26, 2012

Although our gardens are still officially beset by this year's drought, and we're still about eight inches shy of our average annual rainfall, we've been blessed with some pretty generous rains lately. And despite numerous frosty nights, our gardens are not yet bereft of blossoms. Come on in, see what's blooming, and check out the winner of last month's What's Blooming contest.

(Full article30 comments)
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Posted by bitbit (Baltimore County, MD - Zone 7a) on Sep 22, 2011 6:35 AM

This purple, fall-blooming crocus is the source of the spice saffron, which is actually the red stigmas of the saffron flower. Although it is very expensive to buy saffron, the plant is easy to grow and provides a nice source of color in the fall when not much else is in bloom. Saffron likes a dry summer, so it is important not to overwater it when dormant to prevent the corms from rotting.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Who else likes Autumn crocus & grow other unusual species of bulb, seeds? by ShawnSteve Jun 24, 2019 12:57 PM 0
Fall bulbs from ADR, local pick-up only (Mid-Atlantic gardeners) by critterologist Sep 2, 2018 10:33 AM 59
Found this flower randomly on our lawn, what is it? by UrbanForester Apr 13, 2018 2:08 PM 7
Blending Herbs by JeanTownsend Jun 25, 2018 6:59 AM 2
Spring (er, winter??) blooms 2018 by evermorelawnless Jun 19, 2018 8:32 PM 498
What's Blooming - Photos and Chat. by NJBob Nov 23, 2019 8:27 AM 1,395
2017 Fall Bulbs and Amaryllis MAG group buy -- local pickup only by critterologist Sep 21, 2018 8:34 AM 179
Bulb planting for Spring 2017? by CarolineScott Apr 11, 2017 5:42 AM 521
Yardening in the Mid-Atlantic by Eric4home Dec 10, 2019 12:58 PM 3,190
Autumn bulb blooms by gemini_sage May 15, 2016 12:28 PM 35

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