A lone Autumn crocus blooming in my entry way flower bed. See those lovely orange-red stigmas? This is a saffron crocus and it's dried stigmas like these that produce this pricey seasoning/coloring ingredient.
Saffron has a long, long history but is best known to me as an ingredient in Spanish cooking. I grew up in Tampa where Ybor City, the Latin Quarter, was the place to go for great food -- and arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) meant yellow rice, tinted with saffron and the less expensive anatto.