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Saffron (Crocus)

   Saffron (Crocus), fam. Iridaceae.
   Blooms the first among the garden flowers, as soon as the snow melts down. Sometimes, new snow can cover it again, though it does not harm the plant much. The flowers are very tender and open in sunny weather only.
   Each flower has three red stigmata, which are collected to produce a colorful spice. Imagine how many flowers should be picked by hand to get at least one kilogram of saffron. Moreover, its weight further decrease 5-10 times on drying. That is why this spice may cost higher than gold; cheaper analogues are likely a counterfeit.

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