Did you know that saffron is obtained from a type of crocus? This is a fact that had somehow escaped me, and which I only discovered when wondering why saffron contains a compound called ‘crocin’. Turns out that, yes, there is a connection!
‘Tulip fingers’ might sound like a bizarre floral-themed version of Edward Scissorhands, but it’s actually a condition that can be caused by skin contact with tulip bulbs. It’s common amongst workers in the tulip industry, whose jobs involve sorting and packaging of tulip bulbs. This graphic takes a look at the compounds behind the condition.
Spring is here, and daffodils are blooming. You might have some in your garden, or you might pick some up at a florist to put in a vase at home. If you do, it’s a good idea to place them in a vase on their own – there are chemical reasons why daffodils and other flowers don’t mix!
In the Northern Hemisphere spring is beginning to emerge from winter, heralded by the blooming of bright yellow daffodils. This graphic featured in C&EN a few years back and looks at some interesting chemical facets of this seasonal flower: what causes its smell, its colour, and a surprising link to Alzheimer’s treatments. View the full graphic on the C&EN site.
Spring is in the air, and it’s likely that, in your local forest, so too is the distinctive scent of wild garlic. Also known as ‘ramsons’ or ‘bear’s garlic’, green carpets of wild garlic swell in the forest’s undergrowth at this time of year. Here we take a look at their chemistry, and why, if you’re out foraging for it, you want to be sure you know how to identify it!