1. Exploration and Recollection (WP-01 & 02)

Preparation and execution of expeditions

With the aim to obtain genetic material (corms) of cultivated saffron, as well as seeds and occasionally corms of other Crocus species in their areas of distribution to be part of the germplasm bank, a previous work of planning of expeditions will be carried out. For cultivated species (some of them used in gardening) we will contact plant nurseries, botanic gardens and private cultivators. In the case of wild species we will make a complete bibliographic search on the different species in order to determine their chorology, dates and locations where the material could be found.

Recollections will include natural habitats, crop lands or even local markets. The distribution of areas by groups will be tentatively as described in the next table, taken into account that changes will made on the way.

croqus_carpe 027
The exploration of saffron corms will start at early 2006, with the aim to carry out their sowing at the end of spring, and will be maintained through the years of extent of the project. Since wild species can only be detected in flowering time each group responsible of a geographic area should carry out four collecting campaigns of about two weeks per campaign during the autumns of 2006 and 2007, and the springs of 2007 and 2008, in order to collect Crocus species flowering in spring or autumn.

Elaboration of protocols for collecting material

The protocols of recollection of cultivated and wild species will be elaborated previously. These protocols must detail the information that must be compiled in the moment of recollection and associated to each germplasm sample: botanical data, ecological and geographical data, uses, crop techniques and any other observation of interest. They also will include the methods of collecting samples and identification of each of them.


The Saffron Collectors Group (SCG, partners 0 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8, 10, 11 and 12; partner 0 as manager), is responsible of the collection of C. sativus corms from EU and non-EU countries (WP-01) . In addition, the Crocus Collectors Group (CCG, partners 0 , 4 , 6 , 7 , 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, partner 10 as manager) will execute the collection of seeds and/or corms of the other Crocus spp (WP-02). Of particular relevance is the collection of various populations of C. cartwrightianus, C. thomasii, C. hadriaticus, C. asumaniae, C. moabiticus, C. oreocreticus, C. pallasii, and C. mathewii (series Crocus) , for their putative interest in saffron genetics and breeding.

Exploration and collection task per partner  
Saffron zone of cultivation (A.O.) (10 corms/accession; 160 accessions) Wild crocuses (5-10 corms/accession; 200 accessions)

Geographic area

Taxa (Crocus)

La Mancha (Spain)

Mund (Switzerland)

Kashmir (India)

W Iberian Peninsula

sarotinus ssp. clusii ssp. salzmanii ssp. serotinus , carpetanus,


Teruel (Spain)

E Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands

nudiflorus, nevadensis, cambessedessi , vernus spp. albiflorus


Gâtinais (France)

Talliouine (Morocco)

Khorasan (Iran)




Aquila, Sardegna, Cascia (Italy)


thomasii, vernus ssp. vernus spp. albiflorus, etruscus, versicolor, imperati spp. imperati spp. suaveloens, minimus, longiflorus, medius, reticulatus ssp. reticulatus, biflorus ssp. biflorus ssp. weldenii

Local (Hungary)

Hungary, Carpathian Basin

vernus ssp. vernus, heuffelianus, scepusiensis, vittatus, albiflorus, tommasinianus, reticulatus ssp. reticulatus, banaticus

Quercy (France)

Tasmania (Australia)


versicolor, corsicus, minimus, medius


Crocus Group collection (UK)

Many cultivated accessions


Kozanii (Greece)

Greece, Cyprus

cartwrightianus, pallasii ssp. pallasii, scardicus, pelistericus, sieberi ssp. atticus ssp. sublimis, robertianus, cvijicii, cancellatus ssp. mazziaricus, biflorus ssp. stridii, chrysanthus, flavus ssp. flavus , olivieri ssp. olivieri, pulchellus, veluchensis, rujanensis hadriaticus ssp. hadriaticus ssp. parnassicus ssp. parnonicus, oreocreticus, niveus, goulimyi ssp. goulimyi ssp. leucanthus, sieberi ssp. sieberi ssp. nivalis, biflorus ssp. biflorus ssp. melantherus, cyprius, hartmannianus, veneris, fleischeri, laevigatus, tournefortii , boryi

Istanbul , Safranbolu, Adana , Bilecik (Turkey)


pallasii ssp. pallasi ssp. dispathaceus ssp. turcicus, mathewei, asumaniae, mathewii, baytopiorum, kotschyanus ssp. kotschyanus ssp. cappadocicus ssp. hakkariensis ssp. suworowianus, vallicola, karduchroum, reticulatus ssp. reticulatus ssp. hittiticus, abatensis, ancyrensis, gargaricus ssp. gargaricus ssp. herbetii, sieheanus, cancellatus ssp. cancellatus ssp. damascenus ssp. lycius ssp. mazziaricus ssp. pamphylicus, biflorus ssp. adamii ssp. albocoronatus ssp. artvinensis ssp. biflorus ssp. crewei ssp. fibroannulatus ssp. isauricus ssp. nubigena ssp. pseudonubigena , pulchricolor ssp. punctatus ssp. tauri ssp. wattiorum , chrysanthus , danfordiae , aerius, pestalozzae , kerndorffiorum , paschei , adanensis , leichtlinii , flavus ssp. dissectus ssp. flavus , olivieri ssp. olivieri ssp. balansae , istanbulensis , antalyensis , candidus, vitellinus, graveolens, fleischeri, speciosus ssp. speciosus ssp. ilgazensis ssp. xantholaimos, pulchellus

Local ( Azerbaijan )


autranii, charojanii, reticulatus ssp. reticulatus, angustifolius, caspius, alatavicus, korolkowii, speciosus ssp. speciosus

Middle East

moabiticus, ochroleucus, cancellatus ssp. cancellatus, cancellatus ssp. damascenus, hermoneus ssp. hermoneus ssp. palestinus, graveolens, hyemalis, aleppicus, boulosii