|The first of many flowers to open.|
It likes rich, well-drained soils and very hot summers, which is exactly what we had in 2014 in Portland. Sometimes it blooms well the first year and then sparsely the next. It doesn't force well indoors either. The bulbs are pretty easy to find at the garden center though.
I have several "patches" of Saffron Crocus that have done well. Often the flowers open, just as the rains start, which makes harvesting the stamens harder. I always pluck the stamens at first sight and dry them in a little bowl on my kitchen counter, for use later.
|Time to pluck those three stamens!|
|As a spice, Saffron has been cultivated for more than 3,500 years.|
A word of caution - NEVER confuse Saffron Crocus or any other autumn-blooming crocus with the similar looking, but highly poisonous Colchicums. You have to know what you've planted.