Saffron. A plant which produces a flower of the same name; whence also a drug called saffron or crocus is gathered. The root, which produces the saffron is a kind of bulb, or onion, covered with several bulbous cartilages : its leaves are long. From the middle of the flower arise three long flame-coloured filaments, and these are properly the saffron ; the rest of the flower being of no use. Five pounds of fresh filaments make one pound of dry saffron. The best saffron in Europe is that of England ; that brought from Spain is injured by the oil which is mixed with it to make it keep. Saffron is used both in food and medicine, to cheer, fortify, and resolve. It was the greatest cordial in medicine. It is also used by illumers, to make a golden yellow colour.
Saffron. Saffron is produced in Sicily. France, and Spain, as well as in England.
The Spanish is generally deteriorated by hairing been dipped in oil, to ensure its keep ing. The Sicilian and French are better, but the English is superior to all. It is, however, sometimes adulterated with the petals of the Carthamus tinctorius, or with the common marigold, calendula officinalis; this may be detected by infusing the cake in hot water, when the expanded stigmas will easily distinguished from the petals of the other flowers.