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Plant Systematics and Evolution

March 1977, Volume 128, Issue 1–2, pp 89–103 | Cite as

Crocus sativus and its allies (Iridaceae)

  • Brian Mathew


Crocus sativus is an autumn-flowering species, unknown as a wild plant but long-cultivated for its scarlet style branches which yield Saffron, the dye and flavouring agent. There are several naturally-occurring related species from southern Europe and south western Asia which form a natural group within the genus.C. niveus from Greece is similar to these morphologically and is included here but is less closely related. The characters of the group are defined, a key to the taxa is provided and their relationships discussed.

Key words

Iridaceae Crocus sativus C. cartwrightianus C. moabiticus C. pallasii subsp.pallasii C. pallasii subsp.turcicus C. pallasii subsp.haussknechtii C. dispathaceus C. thomasii C. hadriaticus C. niveus Group definition key description of taxa Flora of C. & E. Mediterranean and S. W. Asia  This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Mathew
    • 1
  1. 1.Herbarium, Royal Botanic GardensKew, Richmond, SurreyEngland, Great Britain

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