Farmers in various parts of Iran have started harvesting saffron with the arrival of autumn, the annual time for harvesting the “red gold”.

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”.

The vivid crimson stigma and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food.

Saffron has long been the world’s costliest spice by weight. Although some doubts remain on its origin, it is believed that saffron originated in Iran

What follows are photos of saffron harvest in North Khorasan and Golestan provinces in north-east of Iran.

The photos retrieved from ISNA show the saffron farmers of Vamenan village in Golestan province, who cultivate the precious product in 400 hectares of land.

The photos of IRNA and Mehr news agencies also depict farmers of Bojnord, Shirvan, and Farouj cities in North Khorasan province, where 1.7 tonnes of saffron crocus are expected to be harvested this year.

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