This article first appeared in The Wire on June 25, 2022
Saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, is extracted from the flowers of the saffron crocus, Crocus sativus. It has been grown for thousands of years in the Mediterranean region. But when and where was saffron first domesticated by our ancestors? In a review in Frontiers in Plant Science, researchers conclude that lines of evidence from ancient art and genetics converge on the same region.