|A. Yadollahi, S. Azam-Ali, E. Cocking, Z.A. Shojaei
|dry farming, growth indices, yield and quality
Saffron is produced from dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. plants.
Cultivation of Crocus and the production of saffron have an ancient history in Iran and some researchers claim that it has its origins in Iran.
Different projects on saffron were carried out in various climates of Iran including Karaj, Birjand and Shahrekord over the last 20 years by the first author.
The best corms for saffron in terms of yield and quality were found within Iranian masses of saffron.
Over 60 kg of the best saffron corms were used in order to investigate growth possibilities and development of saffron.
This study was done for the first time using traditional methods in dry farming during 2002-2005 in the UK, England, the East-Midlands (Nottingham University). In this respect, no fertilizer or insecticide or any special conditions such as control of humidity for growing of saffron was applied.
The yield, quality and growth indices (Leaf Area Index, Total Dry Matter, Crop Growth Rate and Net Assimilation Rate) of saffron were determined.
The results showed that there is a possibility to grow crocus for saffron in the East Midlands of England with adaptation to the Cold Mediterranean Climate in Western Europe.
Overall, this finding contributes to the improvements of yield and quality of saffron in the UK, and more likely similar climates, such as northern Iran.
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