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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Growing Saffron Crocus

Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus Bloom
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus Bloom

Growing Saffron Crocus At Home

I had never dared to use saffron in any of my cooking before.  It is one of the top four most expensive herbs to buy and blundering through an experimental recipe with this particular herb was off my list of things to do.

However, since we purchased some saffron crocus bulbs, we can easily grow our own and as a result become less pensive about cooking mistakes.

I'm not sure how it tastes, as I've not specifically been aware of it being added to any dishes I've consumed, but it is reported to add a "honeyed depth" which I'm looking forward to tasting myself.

For the updated ongoing diary of growing saffron crocus,visit the herb diary.

Starting Off
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus

We purchased a Saffron Crocus Kit with Solid Copper Planter which was delivered on September 25, 2014.  I'm pretty sure I planted the bulbs in accordance with the instructions within two days of receipt.  I watched the bulbs every day to see if there were any changes.

October 4th, 2014 we had some peek through.  I'm not sure the bulbs were planted deep enough, but I didn't change anything and stayed on course to see how these would develop without my being smarter than the instructions.

That's actually not much time between planting and showing growth.  I was impressed!

Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus

Mid Way Growth

November 8, 2014, we still had white protrusions and no green growth.  I was really starting to second guess the depth of planting.  Perhaps this was to help satisfy impatient gardeners who want to see something happen quickly.  That is a great description of me!

To appease myself, I tried not to scrutinize the flowers so much.  I kind of ignored them for a while and just stuck to watering them whenever the soil seemed dry on top (about 1 x weekly).  I went about my business.

Further Along Growth
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus Leaves
Crocus sativus AKA
Saffron Crocus Leaves

After leaving it alone for a couple of weeks, I noticed some green tips and snagged a photo.  I wanted to find out what parts of Saffron are edible, and this is what the 'net says:

The styles are used to flavor and color sauces, creams, breads, preserves, curries, rice, soups, caked, puddings, eggs even butter and cheese. It can be a tea substitute and the roots roasted. It’s not a spice you keep on hand. Usually purchased for a dish specific. It takes about 13,125 dried stigmas to weigh an ounce. Oh, I forgot to mention: In large amounts saffron is deadlly. That’s an expensive way to go. ~ Eat The Weeds
That is good information to know!

Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus Bloom
Crocus sativus AKA Saffron Crocus Bloom

Patience Rewarded

After basic maintenance of the planted bulbs, we were rewarded with our very first bloom just today!     I checked water and staked up our indoor avocado tree, and turned around to see our first bloom.

The coloring is lovely.  Lavender and green look so nice and refreshing together.  Even if we didn't want the styles for cooking, this crocus is absolutely pretty enough to grow for it's looks.

We can allow the flowers to be showy and enjoy them for an entire month, if we wish.

If one only has a small number of flowers, one can leave the flower and just extract the 3 red filaments from the pistil with some tweezers. This operation is called trimming.  ~

I'll add updates and new photos to this post as the flowers develop and the fillaments are processed.  Now on to find some saffron infused recipes!

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