Crocus sativus Linn. Iridaceae
This bulbous plant is originally from the southern part of Europe. Its plant height in Japan is 15 to 20 cm, and a light purple flower of approximately 5 cm in diameter blooms from October to November. The stigma of this species which is divided into 3 branches has a unique sweet fragrance, and when dissolved in water it is bright yellow. Therefore, it is used in dishes such as saffron rice, paella, and bouillabaisse as a spice and a natural coloring agent.
Part used: stigma
Medicinal use: sedative, analgesic and emmenagogue
Main component: crocin
The name of the herbal medicine is ''Saffron''. Only about 1 gm of this herbal medicine can be gathered from 100 to 150 flowers.
The stigma of the saffron flower is indispensable to preparation of the Spanish food known as paella.
Meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale Linn.) and saffron (two totally different species) have a similar appearance.