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Most people do not believe their eyes when they first see flowering crocuses under an autumn-colored maple. But the flowers did not make a mistake during the season - they are autumn crocuses. One of the most famous is the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus): It shows violet flowers with long orange-red flower stamps, which give the valuable cake spice saffron.
The saffron crocus probably originated from a mutation in the Eastern Mediterranean native Crocus cartwrightianus. Overall, it is larger than this, has longer punches and is therefore much more abundant as a saffron source. However, because of their threefold set of chromosomes, the plants are infertile and therefore can only be propagated vegetatively via daughter tubers.
Depending on the weather and the planting date, the first flower buds open in the middle to the end of October. The planting period is about two months from the beginning of August to the end of September. If you want to achieve a nice contrast with a autumn-colored wood, you should rather choose a somewhat later planting date from the beginning of September, because in sunny, dry, mild autumn weather the flowers last only two weeks.
By the way: If you want to harvest the saffron yourself, simply pluck the three parts of the punch with tweezers and dry them at a maximum of 40 degrees in a dehydrator. Only then does the typical saffron aroma develop. The dried stamens can be stored in a small screw jar.
The following pictures show you how to plant the tubers of the saffron crocus correctly.
Step by step: Plant saffron crocuses properly
The tubers of the saffron crocus dry out easily when they are not surrounded by the protective soil. It is therefore set as soon as possible after the purchase in the bed. If necessary, they can be stored for a few days in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator (left). The planting depth is between seven and ten centimeters. The saffron crocus is planted deeper than its flowering relatives in the spring. This is because the plant is much higher with 15 to 20 centimeters and their tubers are correspondingly larger (right)
Put the tubers in larger groups of 15 to 20 copies. The planting distance should be at least ten centimeters. On heavy soils, the tubers are best bedded on a three to five centimeter thick drainage layer of coarse sand (left). With a planter mark the place with the freshly placed crocus tubers (right). In a Bedetumgestaltung in spring, the bulbs and tubers of autumn flowering species are particularly easily overlooked