Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Carthamus tinctorius - Safflower
Edible Portion: Seeds, Leaves, Seeds - Oil, Flowers, Spice, Vegetable
An erect annual herb. It grows to 60-150 cm high. It has any branches. It has spines but the number vary. The stems are white and stiff and round with fine grooves along their length. The kinds with more spiny leaves are better for oil production. The leaves are arranged in spirals around the stem. They do not have leaf stalks. The leaves are dark green and glossy. They are 10-15 cm long and 2-4 cm wide. The flower head is made up of many small flowers. They are 13 mm long and like tubes. They are yellow to orange in colour. The fruit is 4 angled and a hard hull and a single white or grey seed. The seed is oblong.