In particular garrigue areas within the Maltese Islands, autumn time brings along the blooming of the Yellow-throated Crocus flower (Crocus longiflorus, Żagħfran Salvaġġ).
This plant belongs in the iris plant family and appears after the first autumn rains. It grows just to a height of 15cm, blooming as a six-petalled, lilac violet flower with darker veins on the outer side.
The uncultivated plant which is found growing in the wild in the Maltese Islands, Italy and Sicily is not the same as the one which produces the saffron spice. The spice is collected from the stigma of the Crocus sativus, which is closely related to the Maltese one. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, more expensive than gold, with each gram costing between €30 to €60. Over 70,000 flowers are required to produce just 500 grams of saffron. The word saffron is derived from the Arabic term asfar, similar to the Maltese term isfar, and meaning yellow.
During the FREE eco-walks by THE CLIFFS Interpretation Centre, participants can spot the yellow-throated crocus and wander. Join us in one of our free eco-walks on Wednesday and Fridays at 11:00 – For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79642380.