The exquisite sweet scent of the Yellow-throated Crocus flower (Crocus longiflorus, Żagħfran Salvaġġ) may be enjoyed during these Autumnal days. In the garrigue area of Dingli Cliffs, the yellow-throated crocus grows frequently.
The crocus plant, which grows from underground corms without any stalks, grows to a height of 150mm. The attractive lilac to violet colour of the six-petalled flower can be identified by dark coloured veins on the outer side of the flower.
The Saffron spice is hand-harvested from the three bright orange stigmas of the crocus flowers, 30 grams would require more than 13,000 saffron threads. That’s why saffron is the most expensive spice in the world!! Fortunately, only a little saffron would be required to colour and flavour food dishes.
The stigma from the saffron flower also have a medicinal value in the treatment of asthma, coughs, insomnia, depression, pains, etc…
Although the saffron crocus, from which saffron is often harvested is not found in the wild, the yellow-throated crocus, which is native to the Mediterranean is found abundantly in garrigue habitats close to Dingli Cliffs and can be found growing in the wild in Italy, Sicily and Malta.