Herb latin name: Crocus serotinus

Family: Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Edible parts of Crocus serotinus:

The flowers are used as a saffron substitute in flavouring food and colouring it yellow.

Description of the plant:


5 cm
(2 inches)

to December

Habitat of the herb:

Stony slopes in scrub and open pine woods.

Other uses of Crocus serotinus:

The yellow dye obtained from the stigmas yields a yellow dye, it is a saffron substitute.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light sandy soil in pots in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown in a cold frame in early spring. Sow thinly because the seed usually germinates freely, within 1 - 6 months at 18C. Unless the seed has been sown too thickly, do not transplant the seedlings in their first year of growth, but give them regular liquid feeds to make sure they do not become deficient. Divide the small bulbs once the plants have died down, planting 2 - 3 bulbs per 8cm pot. Grow them on for another 2 years in a greenhouse or frame and plant them out into their permanent positions when dormant in late summer. Plants take 3 - 4 years to flower from seed. Division f the clumps after the leaves die down in spring. The bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Crocus serotinus:

Stony slopes in scrub and open pine woods.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Crocus serotinus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.