Saffron, the most popular of fall flowering crocus, also carries the distinction of bearing the world’s most expensive spice. Like all fall flowering crocus, saffron needs to be planted in early fall and offers a showy display of color 4 to 6 weeks later, at which time the spice can be harvested from the stigmas
of the bloom. This purple beauty is easily grown in moist, well-drained soil in either full or partial sun.
Harvest your own spice, and add some late color to your garden after your last summer blooms fade. Saffron crocus will offer the home gardener a harvest of this spice once the blooms open up and reveal the orange-red stigma of the flower. Using tweezers, the stigma can be removed and the saffron can be used fresh in cooking, or dried. Simply place the threads on a paper towel in a cool dry location and store in an airtight jar. Saffron can be kept for up to 2 years before it loses its flavor. The harvesting of saffron threads is what makes the spice expensive, however, only a little is needed to lend flavor and color to a dish.