The key cropping areas of saffron:
With its 75000 hectares of saffron fields, Iran covers about 90 to 93 percent of the world’s 500 tons of saffron produced annually. Much of the Iranian crop is bound for export. 170 to 190 tons of saffron is cultivated in the Torbat-e-Heydarieh region, which includes cities like Torbat-e-Heydarieh, Zaveh, Roshtkhar, and Mahvalat. Torbat -e- Heydarieh, which is located in the southern part of Khorasan Razavi province, has the first rank in the world for producing saffron.
Saffron is a natural spice derived from the flower of the crocus sativus and is also known as the “red gold“. Saffron is the world’s costliest spice. Saffron with its unique characteristics has been used by different nations for different purposes such as a spice, a coloring agent, and a perfume. For almost four millennia saffron has had the largest number of applications among all medicinal plants and has been used in the treatment of 99 medical indications.
The botany and composition of saffron:
In scientific terminology, saffron is referred to as crocus sativus from the Iridaceae species. It’s a plant with a height of 10-30 cm, which grows from bulbs of 5 cm in diameter. The flower is purple in color and quite fragrant. It blooms from October till November. Its deep lavender purple-veined flowers house long scarlet stigmas (the pollen-receptive portions of the female pistils) that can be plucked and dried to make the highly prized spice saffron.