Botanical name: 


A very pretty plant, of the same kind with what are called crocuses in our gardens. It is planted in fields, in some parts of England, and yields a very profitable kind of produce. The flowers of this plant appear in autumn, but the leaves not till sometime after they are fallen. These flowers have, properly speaking, no stalk; they rise immediately from the root, which is roundish, and as big as a large nutmeg, and they stand a little way above the surface of the ground; they are of a purplish blue, and very large; the lower part is covered with a skinny husk. In the centre of these stand three stamina, or threads, with yellow tops, "which are useless, but in the midst between these rises up what is called the pistil of the flower. This is the rudiment of the future seed-vessel; it is oblong and whitish, and at its top separates into three filaments; these are long, and of an orange scarlet colour; these three filaments are the only part of the plant that is used; they are what we call saffron. They are carefully taken out of the flower and pressed into cakes, which cakes we see under the name of English saffron, and which is allowed to be the best in the world.

The leaves are long and grassy, of a dark green colour, and very narrow. They are of no use.

Saffron is a noble cordial.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.