Crocus sativus, commonly known as saffron crocus, or autumn crocus, is a species of flowering plant of the Crocusgenus in the Iridaceae family. It is best known for producing the spice saffron from the filaments that grow inside the flower. The term "autumn crocus" is also mistakenly used for flowers in the Colchicum species. However, crocuses have 3 stamens and 3 styles, while colchicum have 6 stamens and 1 style and are toxic.
Crocus sativus has a corm, which holds leaves, bracts, bracteole, and the flowering stalk. These are protected by the corm underground. C. sativus generally blooms with purple flowers in the autumn. The plant grows about 10 to 30 cm high.C. sativus is a triploid with 24 chromosomes, which means it has three times the haploid number of chromosomes. This makes the plant sterile due to its inability to pair chromosomes during meiosis.
A Crocus sativus plant growing from a developed corm.