Saffron comes from western Asia and blooms with a purple flower in autumn. Each flower has only three 2-3 cm long filaments (the extended part of the pistils), which are manually pinched off during harvesting. There is a reason why they say something is as 'rare as saffron'. This old simile shows how precious this part of the herb is, and how little and carefully it has been handled since ancient times.
Saffron is also used as a spice. 60,000 to 120,000 flowers must be collected for one kilogram of this rare spice, which is why it is also very expensive and is called the spice of kings or red gold.