Safflower is a thistle-like plant with yellow, orange or red flowers. It is cultivated to extract vegetable oil from the seeds.
Flowers of Safflower are sometimes used as a cheaper substitute for saffron, which is why it is sometimes called “bastard saffron”.
Carthame des teinturiers
Basic information and facts
Main producers include India, USA, Mexico, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, China, Argentina and Australia.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
The globular flowers are orange, yellow or red.
Safflower is a highly branched plant which looks a bit like a thistle.
Climate and weather:
Safflower grows well in climates with a long dry season and a short rainy season. It cannot tolerate frost.
Safflower can be 30 to 150 cm tall.
Grown from seeds.
Vegetable oil is extracted from the seeds. The flowers are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron. Safflower can also be used as a yellow or red dye for textiles. Dried flowers are used in traditional Chinese medicine.