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Crocus sativus

Archival image of saffron crocus blooming in Bonnefont cloister, in a bed devoted to plants used in medieval arts and crafts. This crocus blooms not in spring but in fall. Optimally, the bulbs should be planted in August, but most suppliers delay shipment until October, when the majority of spring-blooming bulbs are planted. The scarlet stigmas from many thousands of flowers must be picked out and dried to render an ounce of saffron.

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