Supposed ancestor of Crocus sativus. Has the same, long red stigmas as C. sativus, with similar flavor, indistinguishable, really. I like C. cartwrightianus much better than sativus because of the dark veins; it’s a much more attractive flower.
The plant itself is sterile and can only multiply through dividing the bulbs on a regular basis. Every two or three years, dig them up and replant the offset bulbs to continue a good display.
On a blog post recently, someone mistakenly said that saffron is worth more than gold. It’s worth about 1/7th of an ounce of gold, but with gold going at $1600 an ounce, that’s not shabby. As these Crocus are cold hardy and grow well here in the intermountain west, it could be an option for a healthy source of income. Maybe I’ll do this as a retirement plan in lieu of my 401(k).