The stigmata of the crocus officinalis, dried on a kiln, and pressed into cakes. The best saffron has the broadest blades, - this being the mark by which English saffron is distinguished from the foreign; it ought to be of an orange or fiery-red colour, and to yield a dark yellow tincture; it should be chosen fresh, not above a year old, in close cakes, neither dry nor yet very moist, tough and firm in tearing, of the same colour within as without, and of a strong, acrid, diffusive smell. This drug has been reckoned a very elegant and useful aromatic; it imparts the whole of its virtue and colour to rectified spirit, proof spirit, wine, vinegar, and water. A tincture drawn with vinegar loses greatly of its colour in keeping; the watery and vinous tinctures are apt to grow sour, and then lose their colour also; that made in pure spirit keeps in perfection for many years.