Thursday, May 20, 2010

How many petals does a saffron flower have?

Does it have to have 6 necessarily?

How many petals does a saffron flower have?
the crocus os a monocot, and therefore has its floral parts in multiples of 3

the species crocus sativus will always have 3 sepals and 3 petals. it appears that there are 6 petals, but the petals and sepals are very similar in appearance
Reply:According to this they have only 3 petals.

Saffron is the flower known scientifically as Crocus sativus L. The Encyclopedia Americana states that this word derives from the Greek Corycus , the name of an area in Cilicia in the eastern Mediterranean. Some believe saffron to have originated in the Media of ancient Iran (7th century BC); others believe it has its origins in a wider area of the earth including Greece, turkey, Asia Minor and Iran Saffron, Crocus sativus Linnaeus, is a stem less perennial grass plant with a round sub-soil corm of 3-5cm diameter. Each corm produces 6 to 8 leaves similar to grass weeds. The short sprinkle roots grow at the base and circumference of the corm . i

The first part to appear in early autumn is the flower. The flower consists of three sepals and three petals of the same lilac color which makes them hardly distinguishable. There are three stamens, and filaments are twice as long as the anthers. Out of the single-ovule ovary in the center of the flower grows a long thin style of a light yellow color which ends in a triple stigma of 2-3 cm length and bright orange red color. It is the dried stigmas (and style) that saffron the spice consists of. The stigmas of the saffron flower contain many chemical substances. There are carbohydrates, minerals, musilage, vitamins (especially riboflavin and thiamin) and pigments including crocin, anthocianin, carotene, lycopene and zigzantin. i

There is also an aromatic essence turpenic(safranal), and picrocrocin which gives saffron its distinctive flavor.

Saffron flowers are normally harvested in mid auntumn. The flowers are picked by hand. The flowers begin to grow after the first irrigation and the blooming period in southern Khorasan is usually late October to late November, and of course this depends on environmental and farming conditions. Harvest is completed in at most twenty days. i

In the food processing industry saffron is used as a colorant in sausages, margarine, butter, cheese and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. It is also used for coloring and flavor in ice-cream and sauces and dressings.

It has also been used in the treatment of ailments such as dysentery, measles, enlargement of the liver and gall bladder and urological infections .

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