Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for December 3rd - December 14th, 2004
This is saffron crocus, Crocus sativus.
Saffron crocus is the source of the yellow spice saffron, which comes from the red stigma
that is found inside the flower. Saffron has been used medicinally, in cosmetics, and in
cooking for hundreds of years. It grows best in areas with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry
summers. Saffron crocus is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 8;
it must be planted in early fall before the flowers appear and can be grown in full
sun or light shade. You can see saffron crocus in the Beverage Garden in the
National Herb Garden.