|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Hebrews karkom, Arab. zafran (i.e., "yellow"), mentioned only in Cant. 4:13, 14; the Crocus sativus. Many species of the crocus are found in Palestine. The pistils and stigmata, from the centre of its flowers, are pressed into "saffron cakes," common in the East. "We found," says Tristram, "saffron a very useful condiment in travelling cookery, a very small pinch of it giving not only a rich yellow colour but an agreable flavour to a dish of rice or to an insipid stew."
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) A bulbous iridaceous plant (Crocus sativus) having blue flowers with large yellow stigmas. See Crocus.
2. (n.) The aromatic, pungent, dried stigmas, usually with part of the stile, of the Crocus sativus. Saffron is used in cookery, and in coloring confectionery, liquors, varnishes, etc., and was formerly much used in medicine.
3. (n.) An orange or deep yellow color, like that of the stigmas of the Crocus sativus.
4. (a.) Having the color of the stigmas of saffron flowers; deep orange-yellow; as, a saffron face; a saffron streamer.
5. (v. t.) To give color and flavor to, as by means of saffron; to spice.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
saf'-run (karkom; krokos): Identical with the Arabic kurqum, the same as za`faran, "saffron." The source of the true saffron is Crocus sativus (Natural Order, Indaceae), a plant cultivated in Palestine; there are 8 wild varieties in all of which, as in the cultivated species, the orange-colored styles and stigmas yield the yellow dye, saffron. Songs 4:14 probably refers to the C. sativus. There is a kind of bastard saffron plant, the Carthamus tinctorius (Natural Order, Compositae), of which the orange-colored flowers yield a dye like saffron.
E. W. G. Masterman
Saffron (1 Occurrence)
Song of Songs 4:14 spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree; myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices, (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)