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Binomial Name Carthamus tinctorius
Description Safflower is a herbaceous, thistle-like, annual plant in the Asteraceae (Daisy) family that is grown for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds. The plant is upright, with a central stem and spiny, coarse leaves. Each branch has 1-5 yellow, orange, or red flowers that contain 15-20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid climates with seasonal rain and has a deep taproot that enables it to thrive during droughts. It's ideal temperature range is 6.3 to 27.5°C. The oil extracted from it's seeds is flavorless and colorless and similar to sunflower seed oil. The flowers are sometimes used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron. Harvest once seeds are thoroughly dry.
Sun Requirements Full Sun
Growing Degree Days
Sowing Method Direct seed outdoors once soil temperature is above 10°C
Spread (diameter) 40 centimeters
Row Spacing
Height 150 centimeters

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