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1/5

Safflower

Carthamus tinctorius

False Saffron, Safflor, Bastard Saffron (Eng.) , Saffloer (Afr.)

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It is also called “false saffron” because of its orange flowers that produce a coloration similar to saffron. It's Arabic and Hebrew words meaning “to paint” because of its use as a dye for silk or wool, and in medicine. Once dried and powdered, it serves as a cheaper substituted for real saffron but without having the unique fragrance. Uses: Food colouring, medicinal, culinary, herbal dyestuffs and cosmetic uses

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest safflower seeds when the plants begin to turn brown.

Propagation

Seed
Direct seeding is preferable because of the development as a strong taproot. Sowing time is spring. Space seeds 30 cm apart at a depth of 1 mm. Germination takes 2-4 weeks.

Special features

Drought resistant
Can tolerate drought because of deep root system.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts, beneficial insects and pollinators.

Geography

Origin
Mediterranean and Central Asia
Natural climate
Arid and Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Safflower flowers are occasionally used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron, sometimes referred to as "bastard saffron". The dried safflower petals are also used as a herbal tea variety. For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds.
Dye
Safflower flowers were used for making red (carthamin) and yellow dyes, especially before cheaper aniline dyes became available.
Notes
Food colouring, medicinal, culinary, herbal dyestuffs and cosmetic uses

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
, Yellow, Orange, Red
Scent
None

Problems

Susceptible to rust, aphids, leaf eating caterpillars and safflower fly.
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

Companion plants

GRAPE
GRAPE
Vitis vinifera

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