SAFFRON FROM WILD TO THE FIELD
Crocus, a genus of Iridaceae including of 85 species mostly grown in areas with cold winter and low rainy hot summer. Crocus consist of some house plants with beautiful flowers, as ornamentals in home gardens, rock gardens, parks, and in wild nature where they usually dispersed in vast groups and produce interesting sceneries of different color of flowers. Solid corms of saffron which are covered within sheath of different orientations terminate to adventitious basal roots keep saffron actively growing from fall to late spring. Cultivated saffron (Crocus sativus) is triploid (2n=3X=24), but related wild species are diploids with 2n=12, 2n=16, 2n=20 and 2n=24 chromosomes. There are nine species of wild saffron existing in Iran or in the vicinities. Three of them are endemic (C. almehensis, C. gilanicus and C. michelsonii) to Iran. The most similar species to cultivated saffron is C. cartwrightianus in Greece. C. pallasii subsp. haussknectii has also similarities to cultivated saffron.The latter two species are fall flowering and 2n=16, so their closer relationship to cultivated saffron is more likely. In this presentation attempts will be focused on wild species of saffron, and explaining the possible ways that this valuable industrial/medicinal product of great significance in agricultural economy has been introduced from wild to the field.
Rashed-Mohassel, M.H. (2007). SAFFRON FROM WILD TO THE FIELD. Acta Hortic. 739, 187-193
Crocus, DNA band, saffron dendrogram, saffron phylogeny