Growing Saffron

thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))July 18, 2014

Hello All,

I have a question about Saffron. I received seeds this past spring but never tried to do anything with them. I am now curious if it is to late to germinate and plant them?

If I can, how would I germinate them? or Should I direct sow? I plan on putting them in soil, but if a pot is recomended I can do that as well.

Thanks All,

Mr Beno

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Saffron???? Are you sure it's saffron? Because saffron comes from the fall-flowering crocus, Crocus sativus (or saffron crocus). It is the stigma of the flowers and is a royal pain to harvest - but perhaps worth it given the price of saffron these days (and the reason for the high price is that it is a royal pain to harvest).

Saffron crocus grow from bulbs. True saffron crocus is sterile and will not set fertile seed. I don't know what you have seed for but it is unlikely to give you any saffron should you manage to get it to sprout.

You will need a lot of crocus sativus to harvest a usable amount of saffron. That means a lot of bulbs or a long wait while they multiply (or both). Try White Flower Farms - they have 100 bulbs for $20

Here is a link that might be useful: White Flower Farms Saffron Crocus bulbs

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:03PM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

Thanks, I got it as a gift from a seed company and the lable on it said Saffron. I was confused because I did see the bulbs on the internet.

I posted a photo of it

Thanks for you help,

- Mr Beno

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:44PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd love for you to share the name of your seed company with us. Saffron crocus seeds don't exist so it would be helpful for us to know more about this seed vendor.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:14PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

That seed looks like a Safflower seed, i.e. Carthamus tinctorius. As rhizo_1 says, any company selling Safflower as Saffron, is either ignorant or deceitful and is not one you need to patronise again.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Yes, I did wonder if safflower was meant instead of saffron. I've seen such mislabeling before. Safflower could be interesting too. Since it was a freebie, I would go ahead and plant it - it does look like safflower seed - and treat it like safflower. See what comes up. Don't know if it is too late in the season where you are - even if you plant it next season, it could be interesting. It was free, after all.

I would notify the seed company though. It could have been an accident, grabbing the wrong label to stick on the package without noticing. Saffron and Safflower would most likely be right next to each other.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:04PM
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thebutcher(6b (Philadelphia area))

I bought them from Amazon from a third party company and took a month to deliver. It came from china as well.

It is either "sixcity or smile seed" (but don't hold me to it, I am just checking my Amazon order), I forget which one gave it as free. I ordered about 3-4 different Hot peppers from both companies.

As far as planting it and to take precautions should I wait until next year or should I try to germinate a few and see what happens and plant them in a pot?

Thanks Again All

- Mr Beno

This post was edited by thebutcher on Sat, Jul 19, 14 at 17:22

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:17PM
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