” Crocus are native the Mediterranean and parts of Asia and are among the oldest of cultivated bulbs. They are actually members of the Iris family. Most Fall Crocus are Colchicum. The name comes from the word Colchis which was the name of an ancient kingdom considered to be the home of all sorcery. The first plants were said to have sprung up from drops of a potion brewed by Medea, the daughter of the king of Colchis whi created the potion to restore youth to her aging father. The plants have always been prized for their medicinal abilities. They contain the chemical colchicine which has been used for centuries to cure gout.
Because saffron is such a prized spice, the saffron crocus quickly made its way from the Mediterranean to all parts of Europe. In 1633, the famous herbalist, Gerard, reported that the saffron crocus was being grown in great abundance throughout England. The 4 in. plants produce 2-4 saffron covered stamen which when dried shed their saffron powder. Plant 4 in. deep and about 6 in. apart. They do best in full sun, but can tolerate light shade.”
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