Perennial bulbous bulbous plant, 10-30 cm high, of the iris family. Of the 75 species of the genus, one is cultivated in culture – sowing saffron. In the CIS, saffron is cultivated in Transcaucasia, Crimea and the Caspian region.

The corm of saffron (3-4 cm in diameter) is covered with fine-fibrous or mesh scales. Leaves 6-15 in a bunch, linear, narrow, dense, the same height as the flower. Flower arrow single. The flower consists of above-ground and underground parts. Flowers bisexual, regular, funnel-shaped, solitary or 2, purple or white. Stamens 3. Style with three hanging bright orange-red stigmas. The weight of 1000 stigmas (the main industrial raw material) is up to 32 g. Saffron blooms in September-November. The fruit is a three-celled capsule with small, almost spherical seeds (in culture, as a rule, seeds are not formed). Saffron is propagated by corms.

According to their properties, wild-growing saffron Pallas and beautiful saffron are close to common saffron.

Saffron stigmas are part of the now rarely used medical products: Hufeland baby powder, complex sabur tincture, saffron-opium tincture, syrups, and sometimes patches. In homeopathy, saffron is used for convulsive coughing and spastic phenomena in babies. Occasionally, stigmas are used as an analgesic, anticonvulsant, cardiac, diuretic, and for certain diseases of the stomach and intestines; in some countries – with liver diseases. In the folk medicine of Azerbaijan, saffron is a narcotic and diuretic, it is also recommended for hysterical spasms and whooping cough.

Due to the high cost of saffron, it is not often adulterated with a mixture of marigold and safflower. But saffron stigmas are easy to distinguish from a fake: if you lower them into warm water, to which 1.25% ammonia is added, they dissolve easily. In addition, real saffron leaves greasy stains on paper, and its ash has a whitish color.

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