Saffron surprise

Out of the blue, one of my saffron crocuses was in flower today, weeks before expected.  In among the attractive lilac petals were the elusive deep red stigma: the raison d’être of growing the plant at all.

Saffron Crocus flower
First Saffron Crocus flower with the elusive red stigma

I picked the three or so strands below and will let them dry indoors in the warm.

Just-picked saffron stigma
Just-picked saffron stigma

Back in mid-august I planted about fifty of the crocus sativus bulbs.  Most have yet to flower, but if each gives a few strands it’ll make a useful amount. Just a pinch adds an exotic honey-like hint to dishes savoury and sweet alike, as well as a fabulous orange or yellow colour.  Best of all the plants are perennial, so will produce year after year.

Saffron bulbs yet to flower
Saffron bulbs yet to flower

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