Saffron (pronounced or ) is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, was probably first cultivated in or near Greece. C. sativus is probably a form of C. cartwrightianus, that emerged by human cultivators selectively breeding plants for unusually long stigmas in late Bronze Age Crete. It slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.
Saffron’s taste and iodoform or hay-like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a carotenoid pigment, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal, and it has been traded and used for over four millennia. Iran now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron.
An evergreen tree of the genus Citrus such as Citrus sinensis.
The fruit of an orange tree; a citrus fruit with a slightly sour flavour.
The colour of a ripe fruit of an orange tree, midway between red and yellow.
Orange coloured and flavoured cordial.
Orange coloured and flavoured soft drink.
Having the colour of the fruit of an orange tree; yellowred; reddish-yellow.
To color orange.
To become orange.
The plant Crocus sativus, a crocus.
A spice (seasoning) and colouring agent made from the stigma and part of the style of the plant, sometimes or formerly also used as a dye and insect repellent.
An orange-yellow colour, the colour of a lion’s pelt.
Having an orange-yellow colour.
“The saffron robe of a Buddhist monk.”
To add saffron to (a food), for taste, colour etc.
“saffroned water, saffroned rice.”
To give a saffron colour to (something).
To dye (a fabric, garment, etc.) with a saffron-based dye.
a town in southern France, on the River Rhône, home of the ancestors of the Dutch royal house.
relating to the Orange Order