Crocus cancellatus Herb. Irideae.
Asia Minor. This plant is said by Linger to be brought to market in Damascus, when the bulb is about sprouting, and is much prized as a vegetable.
Crocus sativus Linn. Saffron.
Greece and Asia Minor. This plant was formerly cultivated in England and is now spontaneous. It is cultivated in Austria, France and Spain for the deep, orange-colored stigmas of the flowers, which are used for coloring. It was not cultivated in France before the Crusades, the bulbs from Avignon being introduced about the end of the fourteenth century. Loudon says saffron is used in sauces and for coloring by the Spaniards and Poles. In England and France, it enters into creams, biscuits, preserves and liquors and is used for coloring butter and cheese. The Mongols use it in cooking. Under the Hebrew name, carcom, the plant is alluded to by Solomon; and as krokos, by Homer, Hippocrates, Theophrastus and Theocritus. Virgil and Columella mention it and Cilicia and Sicily are both alluded to by Dioscorides and Pliny as localities celebrated for this drug. Throughout the middle ages, frequent notices are found of its occurrence in commerce and in cultivation.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.