Alpine Garden Society

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Crocus sativus

Flowering Time



Not known as a wild plant

Native Climate


Wild Habitat


Distinctive Features

Large purple/lilac flower with three very long, red style branches.   Corm tunic finely netted fibres

Closest Relatives

Crocus cartwrightianus

Cultivation Requirements

Warm, dry summer rest needed for flowering. Deep planting and rich soil (or feeding) assist in building and maintaining flowering size corms


Widely available in commerce

Believed to have been an ancient selection from Crocus cartwrightianus, this is the plant cultivated for its long red style branches used in cookery.

Crocus sativus

Horticultural Crocus sativus.

Crocus sativus

Horticultural clone growing in a bulb frame in the UK.

Crocus sativus

Crocus sativus style branches - Saffron as harvested by Saffron grower Olivier Tetart in the Lot region of France

Crocus sativus

Tetart Saffron Crocus.  

'font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt'>Lower two photographs Olivier Tetart

  • Corms and Tunics
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Stamens and Styles
  • Pollination and Seeds