(Click on smaller image to view larger image.)Rosie Lerner
|Safflower (note the the spines on the bracts on the photo on the left,
the photo on the right shows how the flower is surrounded by many bracts)
The safflower plant (Carthamus tinctorious), a thistle-like, annual, oilseed crop grown out in the Great Plains states such as Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas. Safflower used to be grown for red and yellow dyes yielded by the flowers. Safflower oil is used in the food and cosmetics industries, the meal is used in livestock and poultry feed, and indeed, the whole seed is marketed as birdseed.
Alhough safflower oil is more expensive than other oils or fats, here at AZSunGoldSoaps we use safflower oil as the main ingredient in our "Ultimate Safflower" bar soap product.
The plant is also known to grow in the wild as these pictures were submitted indicating that the plant grew near the base of a bird feeder and they wondered if it sprouted from the birdseed. The flowers were in tightly-clustered heads, bright yellow to almost orange, and the bracts were heavily armed with very sharp spines.
Last updated: 16 September 2001.
Courtesy: The Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.