Generally speaking, saffron is a plant from the lily genus, saffron genus, which is used as a spice in cooking. Crimson stigma and cream of saffron flower color are collected and after drying, it is used for seasoning and coloring dishes and desserts. Moreover, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world by weight and is worth around $ 150,000 per kilogram. Most sources of saffron are native to Iran, which currently produces over 90% of the world’s saffron. In fact, Iran is the largest exporter of saffron and China is the largest importer of saffron in the world. The global export value of this product has been around $275.84 million.
The special and unique taste and aroma of saffron are due to a substance called safranal. The golden yellow color it gives to food is due to crocin. Mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography are professional methods of detecting counterfeit saffron.
On the other hand, Saffron, which is known as the flower of health, the king of spices, and red gold, is the most valuable plant in Iran. Saffron’s main origin is in the slopes of Alvand. Saffron cultivation in Iran dates back to BC and is widespread in very low rainfall areas with cold winters and hot summers. Saffron with the scientific name of Crocus Sativus belongs to the Iridaceae family. It is a perennial plant with a height of about 30 cm that has long, green leaves like leeks. Its underground stem consists of two bulbs. These bulbs are hard, round, fleshy, and covered with thin brown membranes. Purple saffron flowers are regular and contain a long tube that leads to three petals.
The leaves are slender and long, dark green or grassy, about 20 to 50 cm long, with 5-11 leaves. Farmers place the flowers and leaves inside a membrane tube called a spatula, which supports the leaves and the flower that is responsible for emerging from the soil. This plant is triple and does not produce seeds.
Special features of this product include low water requirement, long shelf life, low volume and weight, no need for heavy and expensive agricultural machinery, 4-7 years of operation in one planting and the ability to attract a large workforce on the one hand and from, On the other hand, the expanding consumption of medicinal and industrial food has increased the price of this product day by day and the development of its cultivation. Since saffron onion stays in the ground for a relatively long time (5-7 years).
What Soil is Suitable growing saffron?
The soil should be light or a mixture of sand and clay so that the bulb can, besides providing food, withstand specific regional conditions. Therefore, to develop the plant properly and produce a good and desirable product, we need fertile and drained lands without trees with soil (loamy, lemon, clay, and sandy) and calcareous with a pH between 7-8 on saline, poor and wet soils, preferred acidic.
Saffron does not produce good crops in lands that do not have rubble or weeds or rotted organic matter. The soil that contains the saffron bulb should be light and contain a mixture of different salts. The saffron bulb should live in that soil for 5 to 7 years, and it should not be a heavy soil that spoils it, for example, a mixture of sand and clay that is composed of good nutrients. During this time, the bulb can be well resistant to regional climate changes, which is suitable for it to grow and develop.
To Grow saffron bulbs better in order to get a good crop out of the saffron, use fertile and drained land instead of salty and poor ones. Keep in mind that this land should be without trees and mountain canopies, and The ingredients of the soil mist be a combination of sand, clay, limestone, and loam. Moreover, the land must be calcareous and its pH must be between 7 and 98. Be sure to weed the soil before starting the planting, and also clear the land of debris. In addition, there should be no organic matter in the soil that has not yet decomposed, as the presence of these factors will eventually cause Do not to face a good product.
Suitable Climate for Planting Saffron
Saffron is a tropical plant that grows well in temperate climates with hot, dry, sunny summers, and relatively mild autumns and winters. It should be noted that this may not be true in all circumstances. The saffron plant might be adapted to the environment as in Hamedan, which is one of the oldest cold cities in Iran, saffron cultivation and planting has given satisfactory results. It’s also important to know that summer saffron onion is not active, the period of awakening and activity is from about November to May. With the onset of summer, its leaves turn yellow and dry, and the bulb falls asleep, so hot and drylands are a good place to cultivate it. In general, it is better to know that the temperature factor is one of your important priorities for choosing a city for saffron cultivation because this plant can only tolerate the maximum temperature between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius. Another important factor is to consider the height of the city. It is from the sea level because we estimate the best condition for good saffron cultivation at 1300 to 2300 meters above sea level.