Habitat and Adaptation:
The Wonderful World of Saffron

Crocus sativus originated in Greece and the Middle Eastern region of the world.  Today 90% of the world's saffron comes from Iran.  However, saffron has been found to grow in all sorts of different environments (i.e. Mediterranean, India, and even New Zealand) due to its mode of reproduction and adaptation of cormsIt is mainly found in the Mediterranean region of the world, which is known to have cool to cold winters (frosts of -10̊ C), seasons of heavy rainfall, and even extremely dry and hot summers.  Rain can be beneficial to flowers before they bloom, however, heavy rainfall and cold weather during flowering can cause disease in the plant.  In addition, the saffron crocus flower favors soils that are packed full of nutrients, light, and easy for their roots to move and penetrate throughout such as clay-calcareous types.   

Saffron is able to live in these harsh conditions due to its adaptation of corms.  This adaptation of corms allows the plant to go into a form of hibernation when conditions aren't favorable by appearing to die, but in actuality, living underground as part of this structure.  Also, saffron has learned to adapt to its environment by closing up the petals of the flower as a form of protection for the plant if conditions are not favorable. 

Topographical map of the country Iran This is a map of all the major cities found in iran

Continue to the next page to find out how saffron can be used for Medical Uses.

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