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Saffron is a small perennial plant with a height of 10 to 30 cm. From the middle of the onion or the base of the stem, a number of narrow and long leaves emerge. From the middle of the leaves, a flowering stem emerges that leads to one to three flowers. The flowers have 6 purple petals that may be pink or purple in some varieties. The flowers have 3 flags and a female leading to a reddish-orange stigma. The part used by this plant is the end of the cream and the stigma of the three branches, which is known as saffron and is fragrant and slightly bitter.

Cultivation of saffron in Iran

Iran is the largest producer and exporter of saffron in the world with an annual production of 330 tons and an export of 280 tons of this product (statistics for 2009). Meanwhile, the provinces of Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan with a share of 85% have the largest share in the production of Iranian saffron. From a quantitative point of view, Torbat Heydariyeh city in Khorasan Razavi province, with a sub-ship area of ​​7500 hectares of saffron, ranks first among all producers of this product in the country. Saffron of Ghaen city is considered as one of the highest quality saffron produced in the country. Also, Gonabad saffron has been registered in the FAO as a world agricultural heritage due to traditional planting and irrigation with aqueduct water. Recently, the development of saffron cultivation and production in northern Khorasan has increased so that from 343 hectares with a production of about 6 tons in 2007. It has reached the level of 9,850 hectares and production of about 29 tons this year.