A useful flower with many uses
Safflower is of the Asteraceae family and is native to parts of Asia and Africa. The safflower plant grows from 0.3 to 1.2 metres (1 to 4 feet) high and has red, orange, yellow, or white flowers. Very ancient plant that has been used for hundreds of years for its flowers to turn them into carthamin, a dye. It is currently grown for its oil-rich seeds. Most of safflower oil is consumed in the form of soft margarines, salad oil, and cooking oil. It is highly valued for dietary reasons because of its high proportion of polyunsaturated fats. This plant is very sensitive to cold and it is best to keep it inside a greenhouse or polytunnel.
Scientific Name: Carthamus tinctorius
Plant Life Cycle: annual
Optimal Germination Temperature: 21C
Sunlight: Full sun
Soil requirement: light, fertile soil
Sowing and cultivation: Sow in pots after the last chance of frost have passed and the temperatures have warmed up.