Croydon Saffron Central brings namesake flower back to town centre

By - Wednesday 19th August, 2015

Croydon council has greenlighted a project by community groups to create a pop-up crocus farm on the former Taberner House site in central Croydon this autumn. 

Artist’s impression of the town centre saffron farm. Image by Lis Watkins @lineandwash, used with permission.

Release begins: Croydon Council’s approval allows the community project to seek funding through public donation to create a pop-up saffron farm to share with all of Croydon.

The project aims to bring the Crocus Valley to every garden and belly in town. Croydon’s name derives from the Anglo Saxon ‘Croh Denu’ meaning “Crocus Valley”. It is widely believed that saffron was farmed here by the Romans.

Croydon Saffron Central will be a pop up saffron farm that will spread its corms throughout every ward of the borough after its first harvest.

Friends of Parks and Community Groups are to be  invited to take the crocus sativus to their respective wards where they can cultivate and distribute in their local communities. Every Croydonian should take pride when they see a crocus in bloom, but especially when it’s a crocus sativus – the bloom that produces saffron!

This project is an community educational tool as the saffron crocus blooms in the autumn and not the spring.  In the coming autumn, the group will:

- grow thousands of crocus sativus

- harvest saffron and reinvest sales

- distribute plants amongst 24 wards of Croydon

Few people are aware of the origins of Croydon’s name nor its significance as a settlement to the south of London.  Croydon Saffron Central is inspired through research and by a regular feature called ‘Crocus Watch’ on the Made In Croydon show at Croydon Radio. The organisers are now seeking funding to purchase 20,000 corms and 10 tonnes of earth. Donations of flower pots will also be sought, and community and business volunteers will be invited to help prepare the site, plant corms, harvest the saffron and distribute the plants.

Croydon’s flourishing Friends of Parks and Green Spaces groups will subsequently take the plants into the 24 wards of Croydon and create local saffron farms so that Croydon can once again become beautiful crocus valley.

To make a donation go to

Release ends.

Release sender: Croydon Radio.



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  • Colin Brookes

    The statement that to quote ‘ Croydon’s name derives from the Anglo Saxon ‘Croh Denu’ meaning
    “Crocus Valley”. It is widely believed that saffron was farmed here by
    the Romans.’ is entirely untrue. Saffron was has only ever been recorded as being produced in the North Eastern Counties in the earliest periods, Essex and Suffolk, hence Saffron Waldon etc. There is no proof that it was introduced until at least the14th Century in any kind of serious cultivation further south than that. The name Croydon evolved from it’s far earlier name of Crogdene which pre-dates Saffron and any Anglo Saxon dialect by about a thousand years. Crogdene is also based on the language used at the estimated time of it’s earliest settlement, meaning ‘Crooked Valley’. If you want to lokk at it logically instead of factually historical, which is more likely to have been corrupted over a period of time to Croydon (a) Croh Denu. or (B) Crogdene. The idea that it was Croh Denhu is a very recent idea. Crogdene was taught to us when I was at school in the 40′s. I rest my case.