The scientific name for saffron is "Crocus Sativus L." It belongs to the family of Iridaceas and the line of liliaceas.
Saffron is a bulbous perennial plant, ranging from 10 to 30 centimetres in height. The bulb is meaty and round, although somewhat flat at the base. It is white coloured on the inside, covered with a fibrous and rough membrane, and brown in colour.
Flowers surge from the bulb in a stem of about 3 millimetres in diameter, which develop in two purple to violet coloured membranes.
The flower is called the "Rose of the Saffron" and made up of six eliptical pieces. The stem is also a violet colour when it initially emerges, becoming more opaque, and finally turning white.
The flower contains three large stamen with orange coloured anthers. Inside the flower tube is the style, a long white filament whose apex is orange coloured. This divides into three red threads, the threads or cloves of the saffron, which correspond to the stigmas.
2 to 4 grams per quart of water.
300 mg to help digestion.
0.5 to 1.5 grams daily to help bowel activity.
For Use in Food
Crush the Saffron threads with your fingers or in a morter, add a small amount of hot water, then add to your dish. In most recepies the Saffron is added in the latter part of dish preparation, moments before removing the dish from the oven or stove top, to conserve its pungent aromatic flavor and color. It is common to use 2 to 4 strands of Saffron per person.