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Saffron

- Noun

The aromatic, pungent, dried stigmas, usually with part of the stile, of the Crocus sativus. Saffron is used in cookery, and in coloring confectionery, liquors, varnishes, etc., and was formerly much used in medicine.

- Noun

A bulbous iridaceous plant (Crocus sativus) having blue flowers with large yellow stigmas. See Crocus.

- Noun

An orange or deep yellow color, like that of the stigmas of the Crocus sativus.

- Verb

To give color and flavor to, as by means of saffron; to spice.


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  • Saffron

    Saffron

    Saffron (pronounced /ˈsæfrən/ or /ˈsæfrɒn/ ) 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.

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  • Saffron (trade)

    In the context of trade, saffron is one of the world's most expensive spices by weight, saffron consists of stigmas plucked from the vegetatively propagated and sterile Crocus sativus , known popularly as the saffron crocus. The resulting dried "threads" are distinguished by their bitter taste, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes. The saffron crocus is unknown in the wild; its most likely precursor, Crocus cartwrightianus , originated in Crete or Central Asia; The saffron crocus is native to Southwest Asia, and was first cultivated in the area now known as Greece.

  • Saffron shiner

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    The saffron shiner (Notropis rubricroceus) is a North American species of ray-finned fish in the genus Notropis . It is found in cold, clear, and rocky streams and creeks in the Tennessee River drainage. Characteristics are a relatively deep body, dorsal fin origin above back half of pelvic fin base, medium-sized eye, narrow rounded snout, sub-terminal mouth, elongate spot at base of tail fin, dark side stripe on back half of body, olive back, silver sides, white belly, fins pale except for black mark on tail fin, and breeding males will be bright red with blue stripe on the side. The adults grow to between 40–60 millimetres (1.6–2.4 in) in length and mature to reproductive status in one to two years. When spawning the females release approximately 440 to 1200 eggs and they either spawn over a chub nest or in gravel runs without a nest. Food sources for saffron shiners consist of insects, worms, spiders, plants and algae.

  • Trade and use of saffron

    Saffron is a key seasoning, fragrance, dye, and medicine in use for over three millennia. One of the world's most expensive spices by weight, saffron consists of stigmas plucked from the vegetatively propagated and sterile Crocus sativus , known popularly as the saffron crocus. The resulting dried "threads" are distinguished by their bitter taste, hay-like fragrance, and slight metallic notes. The saffron crocus is unknown in the wild; its most likely precursor, Crocus cartwrightianus , originated in Crete or Central Asia; The saffron crocus is native to Southwest Asia and was first cultivated in what is now Greece.

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