Monday, November 12

Not so wild saffron

Our plot neighbours recently gave me some saffron crocus bulbs. They'd bought a pack and decided they didn't want to plant them all and so thought of me - thanks you Pat and Joe.

Saffron crocuses seem very popular at the moment. Unlike 'normal' crocuses saffron crocuses flower in autumn. Not only do the flowers produce saffron, a spice that is really expensive to buy but they should also be perfumed. Ours is just starting to produce flower buds so I can't as yet confirm that.
It's the stigma of the flower that produces the saffron strands so at the moment there are no signs of anything to harvest. Has anyone any tips on how to harvest and store saffron strands. Please don't tell me to cut off all the flowers!

PS: If you are interested in steam trains (sorry should say engines - I'll get my wrists slapped) Martyn has started a new blog here


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author by S Garrett

14 comments:

  1. I have attempted saffron before but they didn't flower (quite unhelpfully really....) so I can be of no help whatsoever. My guess would be that tweezers are involved though.

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    1. One flower opened but has gone over before I spotted it so I will have to be more vigilant!

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  2. I haven't seen anyone growing these before! Good luck with your harvest :)

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    1. Thanks Tanya - it will be a first for me!

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  3. Snap, I've just posted about crocus bulbs too, though not of the saffron variety. I didn't realise they flowered in autumn, they'll be a nice addition to the garden even if you don't manage to harvest the saffron.

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    1. They're in pots in the greenhouse, Jo. I thought that this would keep them clean.

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  4. Most people would tell you to cut off the flowers at mid morning on a sunny day...however the stigmas can be collected using tweezers whilst still attached to the plant. The darker the colour the stronger the flavour.

    Then they simply need drying...I'm sure if you research it there are lots of technical gadgets for this, personally I have found nothing wrong with a paper-towel on a plate on a sunny windowsill.

    It's a bit tedious but worth it considering the price of saffron!

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    1. It would be a pity to cut off the flowers completely, Tanya - just the sunshine that may prove difficult

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  5. Sorry I can't be of any help either surely somewhere on the internet there must be answers. Good luck

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    1. I have browsed Elaine and most say to harvest the flowers - I just wondered if anyone had personal experience.

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  6. I haven't really heard of saffron crocuses but they sound like a really good bulb to have. Interesting comments above on harvesting saffron.

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    1. I'll let you know how I get on with the harvesting Kelli.

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  7. I've been thinking about growing some saffron crocuses too, for the saffron. A pot seems an ideal way to go. Now all I have to do is remember to buy the bulbs and plant them next year!!Good luck harvesting them, shall await developments with great interest.

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    1. I sort of ended up with them by default, Janet - so far I've only had the one flower

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