It takes approximately 75000 flowers, which need to be plucked by hand, to make one pound of Saffron. The flower only blooms for two weeks a year, so pretty much the entire country takes off to pick the stamen. This is why the spice is so expensive. 1lb of saffron can run $1100.
Before the invention of electricity, there was a “spice clock”, a clock that opened a different compartment of spices each hour so that people waking in the night could taste the time before going back to sleep.