Le Safran (Crocus sativus)

Publié mercredi 13 août 2014 Commenter 34
Safran

Sommaire

Le Safran : en bref

Nom scientifique
Crocus sativus
Provenance / Origine
Inde, Asie occidentale
Période de floraison
Fin septembre-fin octobre
Couleur de floraison
mauve
Température
15-18°C
Exposition à la lumière
soleil
Composition du sol
drainé, humide, riche
Hauteur
15-30 cm
Acidité du sol
neutre
Type biologique
vivace à corme
Type de feuillage
annuel
Insectes et animaux ravageurs
souris, Campagnols

Classification de la plante

Règne
Plantae
Sous-règne
Tracheobionta
Division
Magnoliophyta
Classe
Liliopsida
Ordre
Liliales
Famille
Iridacées

Pas de semis possibles

Le safran (Crocus sativus) est une plante dite triploïde. Par conséquent, bien que le safran produise des graines, elles sont stériles. La multiplication ne peut donc se faire qu'à partir des cormes qui sont les « bulbes » du safran. En réalité, ce n'est pas un bulbe, mais un rhizome vertical, qui grandit d'environ 4 cm par an : c'est pourquoi il faut le planter à 15 cm de profondeur, afin de pouvoir le laisser en place pendant 4 ans. On obtient ainsi de nouveaux cormes à partir des rejets d'un autre corme.

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Gare à la sortie de terre !

Tout d'abord, le safran apprécie une exposition ensoleillée, et il craint le gel. Il préfère les terres légères, drainées, humides (arrosages réguliers) et de pH neutre. Il est vital de fertiliser, le safran étant très gourmand, mais il faut éviter de le faire avec du fumier frais (préférez les engrais minéraux). De plus, comme les cormes finissent par sortir de terre, il faut les repiquer régulièrement (la fréquence dépend de la profondeur de plantation), en profitant de cette opération pour fertiliser et ameublir le sol. On peut le cultiver sous serre, mais il faut bien veiller à l'humidité du sol.

Une épice assez chère

Le safran est l'épice la plus chère au monde : de 1200 à 6000 euros le kilo ! Ces prix exorbitants sont dus à la méthode de fabrication de l'épice : elle est issue du séchage puis du broyage des stigmates des fleurs (on peut aussi les garder filamenteux). Il faut environ 150 000 fleurs pour faire 1 kg d'épices. Dans tous les cas, si vous voulez favoriser la floraison de vos safrans, il est conseillé de leur faire subir un été chaud et sec, puis un automne doux et frais mais surtout éviter l'humidité. De plus, il faut conserver vos pistils dans des boîtes étanches et opaques pour qu'ils gardent leurs arômes.

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