How to Harvest Saffron Crocus

Written by cleveland van cecil
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How to Harvest Saffron Crocus
Saffron is used in a variety of dishes for its distinctive flavour. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

The saffron flower we are most familiar with is the Crocus sativus flower, used as a spice. The saffron comes from the red-orange stigma within the flower. Saffron is used as a spice throughout the world for its bitter and aromatic flavour and bright yellow colouring. The spice is extremely expensive because the stigma are pulled by hand during harvest. The price of saffron is significantly lowered when you grow the flowers yourself and pick the crocus by hand.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Tweezers
  • Container with lid

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the blossoms from the plant when the blossoms are at their maximum, sometime between September and December.

  2. 2

    Pull the red-orange stigmas from the crocus using tweezers and put them in a small plastic container, leaving the lid off. Remove the strongest coloured red-orange stigmas since these have the best flavour.

  3. 3

    Place the stigmas in a warm, dry room for five days, or until the stigmas are dry to the touch.

  4. 4

    Pack the saffron in an airtight container that does not let in sunlight once dried. You will need 10 to 20 strands for most family-sized recipes. For 1g of saffron strands, you will need about 100 flowers.

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