“Saffron, the sacred spice that ignites the senses and nourishes the soul” – Unknown

The biggest secret of crocus flower is hidden in its three crimson stigmas. Saffron. “Saffron, symbol of virtue, brightness, and happiness” – Avicenna

The crocus flower is a stunning testament to nature’s artistry, capturing attention with its captivating beauty. As winter begins to wane and the first hints of spring emerge, these vibrant blooms burst forth from the cold ground, transforming the landscape into a tapestry of color.

The crocus is a symbol of hope and renewal. Its emergence from the earth, even in the midst of lingering winter, serves as a reminder that beauty can emerge from the harshest conditions. It offers a promise of brighter days to come, inspiring us to embrace change, embrace resilience, and cherish the fleeting moments of life’s most precious gifts.

Crocus legends


The biggest secret of crocus flower


There are a few legends and stories associated with crocuses in various cultures. Here are a couple of examples:

Greek Mythology

According to Greek mythology, there is a well-known legend involving Crocus and Smilax. Crocus, a mortal youth, fell deeply in love with the nymph Smilax. Their love was so strong and passionate that they caught the attention of the gods. However, the gods were jealous and turned Crocus into a plant bearing his name, the crocus. Its radiant orange stigmas remain as a faint symbol of his undying passion for Smilax. Smilax is believed to have been given a similar fate and transformed into bindweed.

In another variation of the myth, Crocus was said to be a companion of Hermes and was accidentally killed by the god in a game of discus. Crocus’ blood drops were transformed into a radiant flower. The myth is similar to that of Apollon and Hyacinthus, and may indeed be a variation thereof.


The biggest secret of crocus flower


Persian Legend of Za’farān

In Persian folklore, there is a legend about a young prince named Crocus who fell in love with a beautiful princess named Yasmin. However, their love was forbidden, and they were kept apart. Overwhelmed by sadness and loneliness, Crocus eventually was transformed into a saffron crocus flower, forever capturing his love and longing for Yasmin. The vibrant crimson threads of the saffron crocus were said to represent his eternal love for the princess.

These legends add a touch of mystique and depth to the allure of crocuses, further enriching their significance in various cultural contexts.

“Saffron, a pinch of magic that transforms ordinary into extraordinary” – Unknown

Crocus’ ephemeral beauty

In its ephemeral beauty, the crocus flower reminds us to appreciate the simple pleasures, to pause and marvel at the intricate wonders that surround us. Its graceful presence evokes a sense of joy, wonder, and anticipation, making it a cherished herald of the arrival of spring, and a reminder of the inherent beauty that exists in nature’s ever-unfolding symphony.


Saffron – the biggest secret of crocus flower


The biggest secret of crocus flower


Saffron is a highly prized and valuable spice derived from the stigmas of the Crocus Sativus flower. It is considered one of the most expensive spices in the world due to the labor-intensive process involved in its cultivation and harvesting.

Each crocus flower possesses three bright red stigmas, which are the female reproductive parts of the plant. These stigmas, often referred to as saffron threads or strands, are carefully handpicked and dried to produce saffron spice.


Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world


The biggest secret of crocus flower


So, one flower only produces three precious threads, and it takes a large number of flowers to yield a relatively small amount of saffron.

Saffron production is completely manual, hand-labor intensive process – 40 hours of labour are needed to pick 150,000 flowers. To glean 1 kilo of dry saffron requires the harvest of 110,000–170,000 flowers. The flowers have to be individually hand-picked when they fully open. No wonder that saffron prices at wholesale and retail rates range from $1,100 to $11,000 per kilogram. A pound contains between 70,000 and 200,000 threads.

Saffron’s big secrets

The biggest secret of crocus flower


Distinct aroma, flavor and color

Saffron is known for its distinct aroma, flavor, and vibrant golden-orange color. It has a floral and slightly sweet fragrance, while its taste is often described as delicate, earthy, and slightly bitter. When used in cooking, saffron can impart a unique flavor and a rich golden hue to dishes.

Culinary use

Saffron holds a special place in the culinary world and is treasured for its unique flavor, aroma, and striking appearance. It is commonly used in various cuisines around the world, including Persian, Indian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Saffron is a key ingredient in dishes like paella, biryani, risotto Milanese, and certain desserts like saffron-flavored ice cream or cakes.

Health benefits

Saffron contains unique phytochemicals such as crocin, crocetin, and safranal. Latest research suggests that safranal is a very strong antioxidant scavenging free radicals. Saffron is also famous for its cytotoxicity towards cancer cells. Safranal is an effective anticonvulsant. It also has antidepressant properties helping to cure depression.


The biggest secret of crocus flower


Beauty benefits

Since time immemorial, saffron has been used for female beauty. It is said that Cleopatra, the ancient Egyptian queen known for her beauty, used saffron in her skincare regimen. She reportedly added saffron to her milk baths for its skin-enhancing properties. Today, many cosmetic giants use saffron for their beauty hits. But many women in many countries prefer their own homemade natural cosmetics with saffron.


Safron’s rarity, labor-intensive production, and distinctive qualities contribute to its high value and make it a sought-after spice in many cultures.


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