The Crocus flower is where the spice saffron comes from. It takes thousands of flowers to produce a very small amount of Saffron. It has a very strong aroma somewhat like honey and hay or grass. They dry the stigmas from the flowers to derive the spice. Its been cultivated and traded for thousands of years. Its used as a spice in food but also has medicinal properties as well. Some ancient cultures used it in their baths and others as an aphrodisiac.
Today, chemists have found that saffron contains antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. Saffron contains many complex compounds.The spice was used so extensively as a healing remedy that wars were sparked in the middle ages over Saffron shipments because of the belief it cured plagues. Remember, it takes thousands and thousands of flowers to make a very small amount of the spice. This is why the spice was so highly prized. You can use saffron in sauces, teas, rice puddings, or in potatoes.