|1.||an Old World crocus, Crocus sativus, having purple or white flowers with orange stigmas|
|2.||the dried stigmas of this plant, used to flavour or colour food|
|3.||meadow saffron another name for autumn crocus|
|4.||false saffron another name for safflower|
|5.||a. an orange to orange-yellow colour|
|b. (as adjective): a saffron dress|
|[C13: from Old French safran, from Medieval Latin safranum, from Arabic za'farān]|
Heb. karkom, Arab. zafran (i.e., "yellow"), mentioned only in Cant. 4:13, 14; the Crocus sativus. Many species of the crocus are found in Palestine. The pistils and stigmata, from the centre of its flowers, are pressed into "saffron cakes," common in the East. "We found," says Tristram, "saffron a very useful condiment in travelling cookery, a very small pinch of it giving not only a rich yellow colour but an agreable flavour to a dish of rice or to an insipid stew."