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Shifting saffron (Crocus sativus L.) culture from traditional farmland to controlled environment (greenhouse) condition to avoid the negative impact of climate changes and increase its productivity

Askari-Khorasgani, Omid, Pessarakli, Mohammad
Journal of plant nutrition 2019 v.42 no.19 pp. 2642-2665
Crocus sativus, climate change, corms, drying, flowers, geophytes, greenhouse production, greenhouses, irrigation, medicinal plants, orchards, packaging, plant density, planting density, saffron, soil properties, stigma, temperature
Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) is a geophyte herbaceous perennial medicinal plant, whose flower’s three style arms plus stigmas are used as the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron is exclusively propagated in a vegetative manner through clonal corm multiplication. Saffron stigma + style and daughter corms (also termed as progenies or propagules) multiplication and growth greatly depend on edaphoclimatic conditions (such as soil characteristics, precipitation, geographical location, and most importantly temperature), agricultural managements (such as fertilization, irrigation, planting density, date and depth, and most importantly mother corm size), as well as harvest and postharvest processing (drying, packaging, and storing). Cultivation of saffron under controlled environment provides an opportunity to produce saffron and escape from the negative impact of climate change, importantly increased temperature. Since most studies have focused on farmlands/orchards, this article aimed to provide the up-to-date knowledge on saffron culture to optimize corm and stigma + style yield and quality in open field and specifically in soil-less and soil-based greenhouse conditions.