Native to Southwest Asia, saffron is a fall-flowering ornamental crocus that does well in warm climates, growing to 15 centimetres with long thin leaves. The blue-violet flowers contain the precious protruding orange stigmas. It is these stigmas from which saffron is made, plucked and dried to be the world\’s most expensive spice: it takes 450,000 hand-picked stigmas to make a kilo of saffron. They are delicate and thread-like, each measuring 2.5 – 4 centimetres with a bright orange-red quality. It is strongly perfumed with an aroma of honey, and its flavor offers a bitter honey, and imparts a rich yellow colour to cooking. It is most commonly used in Moorish, Mediterranean and Indian cuisines.