Safflower



Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is a herbaceous, thistle-like annual, highly-branched with leaves that are with many long sharp spines. The plant can grow to 30-150 cm tall, bearing globular flower heads and brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers. Each branch normally has one to five flower heads, and each flower head contains about 15-20 seeds. Safflower plant has strong taproot which help the plant to thrive in dry climates.

Safflowers are grown for its seeds, and used for coloring and flavoring foods, in medicine, and making red and yellow dyes. The seeds can be extracted for vegetable oil, which is flavorless, colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for making margarine.

Safflower flowers are sometimes used in cooking as a substitute for Saffron, which is of much higher price. As such, safflower is sometimes referred to as bastard saffron. Safflower seeds are commonly used to replace sunflower seeds in bird feeders, as squirrels do not like the taste of it.

Safflower oil is also used in oil painting in replacement of linseed oil, particularly with white color, as it does not have the yellow tint which linseed oil possessed.

Safflower concentrate is an ingredient of the carbonated soft drinks Tizer.

Dried flowers of safflowers are used as a natural textile dye. The colorful matter in safflower is benzoquinone-based Carthamin, so it is one of the quinone type natural dyes. It is a soluble and direct dye (CI Natural Red 26).



SafflowerSafflower
Author: Paulatz (Copyright)

SafflowerSafflower
Author: H. Zell (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

SafflowerSafflower
Author: H. Zell (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Dried SafflowerDried Safflower
Author: ExplicitImplicity (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

SafflowerSafflower
Author: Stickpen (public domain)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden





Copyright © 2008-2018 The Flowering Garden. All Rights Reserved.