kick your shoes off and come on in …

SAFFLOWER ! …DROUGHT TOLERANT, EDIBLE, DESERT, ALTERNATIVE FOR SAFFRON???

This beauty was sent to me as LUCKY FREE BONUS ++, for buying 4 packets of seeds…And I AM IMPRESSED with it.

When someone I know bought some seeds, at first they were sure they bought SAFFRON

They had a picture of the purple flowered bulb and everything on the packet, so they become quite disappointed when this fella came up instead……….

It was only after they did a bit of research that they realised it’s the SAFFLOWER plant, and it’s quite useful in its own right!

Its petals are used the same way as traditional ” SAFFRON “, the seeds are eaten as a snack (like sunflowers, but heaps easier to pop our of the shell intact).

The seeds are pressed for oil, which is the basis for everything from margarines, make-ups, and most “vegetable oil” blends, and processed foods.

Used in traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate pain, increase circulation, and reduce bruising.

The dried flowers are included in various herbal remedies for menstrual pain and minor physical trauma and in India, the flowers are used for their laxative and diaphoretic properties, measels, fevers and eruptive skin conditions.

It was known as “Carthamine” in the 19th Century and analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles the 12th dynasty, identified dyes made from safflower, and garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh “Tutankhamen”.

About 600,000 tons of it are grown commercially in more than sixty countries worldwide each year and the number is rising due to the drought tolerance of the plant, and rising temperatures.

Really cool looking flower, and with all those spikes its almost critter proof!

Easy to harvest the petals, just pull them out and leave them in a bowl to dry.

The seeds are even easier to harvest and clean.

Just cut off the pods when dry. Put them in a bucket with a lid, and a stone about as big as a golf ball(actually a golf ball should work good too!).

Put the lid on and shake. The seeds sink to the bottom and the dried pods make good compost.

Great for a snack. Just chuck a handful in you pocket and you can munch them all day.

Meant to be an appetite suppressant too, but HEY ??..Will I note any difference?

We shall see .

Till next time folks, HAPPY GARDENING.

 

Bellow is an picture of an CROCUS SAFFRON BULB PLANT

 

Advertisements

One response

  1. / Edible Plants / Saffron Crocus Growing Information

    AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN AUSTRALIA: Mid March – April.

    SAFFRON CROCUS GROWING INFORMATION © Frances Michaels
    BOTANICAL NAME: Crocus Sativus
    COMMON NAMES: Saffron Crocus; fan hong hua (Chinese); Safran (French, German); ya faran (Thai); zafferano (Italian)
    FAMILY: Iris family
    ORIGIN: It is thought to have originated in Southern Europe and Central Asia.

    PLANT DESCRIPTION
    Saffron Crocus is a pretty bulb with purple flowers, each with three stamens. It has been grown as a spice and a dye since ancient times. The name is derived from zafaran, the Arabian word for yellow. It is famous as an ingredient in paella, bouillabaisse and risotto. It is a perennial bulb to 40 cm high; winter dormant; frost hardy.

    ECOLOGY
    Position: Requires full sun, will not grow in shade.
    Soil Type: Deep, rich, very well-drained, pH 6.5; compost and well-rotted manures are beneficial.

    PLANTING DETAILS
    Recommended planting time: Autumn, early spring. It does best in temperate areas and dry Mediterranean conditions (VIC, SA, drier areas of NSW). It prefers areas with winter / spring rain and dry summers. It is unlikely to be successful in humid, subtropical areas, such as coastal zones north of Sydney and QLD but if you want to give it a try, plant it in a terracotta pot that can be kept fairly dry; be careful not to over-water. It is unsuitable for tropical areas.
    Planting depth: Plant with 5 cm of soil covering the bulbs
    Plant spacing: Space bulbs 15 cm apart
    Growing details: Whilst the bulbs are actively growing keep the soil moist; once dormant, allow the soil to dry out.

    HARVEST
    Flowering time is autumn. Stamens must be harvested straight after the flowers open; each flower will only produce 3 stamens and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce 1 flower. The flower stamens are the world’s costliest spice. About 50 – 60 saffron flowers are required to produce about 1 tablespoon of saffron spice. After harvesting, dry the stamens in a dry, sheltered spot for 3-5 days; store in an airtight container.
    After flowering care: Simply plant and leave – these bulbs will easily naturalise in the garden. Divide every 5 years.

    August 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s