Crocus sativus, commonly known as saffron crocus, or autumn crocus, is a species of flowering plant of the Crocusgenus in the Iridaceae family. It is best known for the spicesaffron, which is produced from parts of the flowers. The cormous autumn-flowering perennial plant species is unknown in the wild.
Crocus Sativus grows to 20–30 cm in height and normally bears four flowers. It is an autumn-flowering perennial plant. It sprouts 5-11 white and non photosynthetic leaves which are also known as cataphylls. They are structures that protect and cover the leaves as they develop. The plant produces green foliage leaves which 1-3 mm in diameter. In spring the leaves grow up to 40 cm. Purple buds start to appear in autumn. The flowers have a sweet honey like fragrance.
Crocus Sativus contains a good source of minerals like manganese, iron, zinc, copper, copper and magnesium. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Crocus Sativus is rich in vital vitamins, such as vitamin A, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C and riboflavin.
A component called Alfa–crocin gives the spice its particular golden yellow color. A volatile oil called safranal is also found in the herb.