Jim McKenney
Sun, 30 Oct 2005 17:24:57 PST
While we are on the topic of saffron, I want to ask the group about some
things about saffron which intrigue me. 

Crocus sativus is thought to be a clone, i.e. one seed (perhaps of hybrid
origin?) germinated in the distant past and grew into the plant we know as
Crocus sativus, all the Crocus sativus in the world now being pieces of that
one original seedling. 

The commercial form most of us know is conspicuously striped with lighter
and darker shades of violet. Presumably this is due to a color breaking

A similar thing is seen in the usual commercial stock of Crocus medius.

Every once and a while I see photos of Crocus sativus from various parts of
the world where it is still grown as a crop. Often, these plants seem to
have flowers with little if any of the color streaking. They seem to be a
pure lilac color, at first glance not at all like the usual Crocus sativus
(except that the huge styles are a giveaway). 

Do any of you grow a form of Crocus sativus or C. medius which does not show
the color streaking? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, where I've been working on a one ounce tin
of Spanish saffron for years. 

More information about the pbs mailing list