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1 Or Crocus, the Crocus sativus of Linnæus, from the prepared stigmata of which the saffron of commerce is made. It is still found growing wild on the mountains in the vicinity of Athens, and is extensively cultivated in many parts of Europe.
2 "Degenerans ubique." Judging from what he states below, he may possibly mean, if grown repeatedly on the same soil.
3 He may allude either to the city of Phlegra of Macedonia, or to the Phlegræan Plains in Campania, which were remarkable for their fertility. Virgil speaks of the saffron of Mount Tmolus in Cilicia.
4 It is very extensively adulterated with the petals of the marigold, as also the Carthamus tinctorius, safflower, or bastard saffron.
5 This is the case; for when it is brittle it shows that it has not been adulterated with water, to add to its weight.
6 Perhaps the reading here, "Cum sit in medio candidum," is preferable; "because it is white in the middle."
7 "White throngbout."
8 He contradicts himself here; for in c. 79 of this Book, he says that chaplets of saffron are good for dispelling the fumes of wine.
9 "Ad theatra replenda." It was the custom to discharge saffron-water over the theatres with pipes, and sometimes the saffron was mixed with wine for the purpose. It was discharged through pipes of very minute bore, so that it fell upon the spectators in the form of the finest dust. See Lucretius, B. ii. l. 416; Lucan, Phars. ix. l. 808–810; and Seneca, Epist. 92.
10 It flowers so rapidly, in fact, that it is difficult to avoid the loss of a part of the harvest.
11 The whole of this passage is from Theophrastus, De Odorib.
12 This statement, though borrowed from Theophrastus, is not consistent with fact. The root of saffron is not more long-lived than any other bulbs of the Liliaceæ.
13 Because. Dalechamps says, all the juices are thereby thrown back into the root, which consequently bears a stronger flower the next year.
14 II. xiv. l. 348.
15 See B. xiii. c. 32.
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