Carthamus tinctorius

Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. 2: 830. 1753.

Common names: Safflower
Introduced
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 19. Treatment on page 180. Mentioned on page 179, 181.

Plants 30–100+ cm, herbage ± glabrous. Stems ± stramineous, glabrous. Leaves usually all cauline, dark green; blades lanceolate to elliptic or broadly ovate, 2–8.5 cm, margins dentate with minutely spine-tipped teeth, veiny, shiny. Involucres ovoid, 20–40 mm diam., ± glabrous. Outer phyllaries spreading to reflexed, 1.5–2 times longer than inner, terminal appendages minutely spiny-toothed, minutely spine-tipped. Corollas yellow to red, 20–30 mm, throats abruptly expanded; anthers yellow to red; pollen yellow to red. Cypselae white, 7–9 mm, slightly roughened; pappus-scales absent or if present, 1–4 mm. 2n = 24.


Phenology: Flowering late spring–summer (May–Aug).
Habitat: Escaped from cultivation in disturbed sites
Elevation: 0–900 m

Distribution

V19-204-distribution-map.gif

Introduced; Alta., B.C., Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Ill., Iowa, Kans., Mass., Mont., Nebr., N.Mex., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Utah, Wash., Europe

Discussion

Carthamus tinctorius is apparently native originally to the eastern Mediterranean; it is known only in cultivation and as escapes today. Safflower has been reported from Texas; I have not seen the specimen.

Safflower is cultivated as an oil seed, a source of vegetable dye, as birdseed, and as an ornamental. It is one of the earliest known crop plants, with cultivation dating back to prehistoric times. In the United States safflower is grown principally in California and Arizona; it has been a successful crop in every state west of the 100th meridian.

Carthamus oxyacantha M. Bieberstein (wild safflower) was collected in 1978 in Monterey County, California. It is considered by the United States Department of Food and Agriculture to be a noxious weed subject to eradication if found. In central and southern Asia it is a pernicious weed of agricultural lands and other disturbed ground. Carthamus oxyacantha most closely resembles cultivated safflower; it has smaller heads and much spinier leaves. Its cypselae are usually darkly pigmented, smaller (4–5 mm versus 5.5–9 mm), and almost always lack pappi.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

"fine" is not a number.

... more about "Carthamus tinctorius"
short-tailed +
yellow +  and red +
scarious +
oblong +, lobed +  and spiny-dentate +
indeterminate +  and determinate +
David J. Keil +
Linnaeus +
decurrent +
Asteraceae tribe Cynareae +
compound +  and simple +
dentate +  and pinnately lobed +
lanceolate;elliptic or broadly ovate +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (8.5 cm85 mm <br />0.085 m <br />) +
10-nerved or 20-nerved +  and rugose +
Safflower +
actinomorphic +
yellow +  and red +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
4-angled +, oblong +  and obpyramidal +
fertile +  and bisexual +
Alta. +, B.C. +, Ariz. +, Calif. +, Colo. +, Idaho +, Ill. +, Iowa +, Kans. +, Mass. +, Mont. +, Nebr. +, N.Mex. +, N.Dak. +, Ohio +, Oreg. +, Utah +, Wash. +  and Europe +
0–900 m +
glabrous +, tomentose +  and more or less +
pistillate +, staminate +  and neuter +
winged +  and beaked +
dispersed +
Escaped from cultivation in disturbed sites +
in few-headed cymiform arrays +  and singly +
indeterminate +
each +  and sessile +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (4 cm40 mm <br />0.04 m <br />) +
constricted +
sessile +  and petiolate +
dark green +
cauline +, all +  and basal +
deltate +, usually narrowly triangular +  and more or less linear +
usually lobed +  and dissected +
1.5-2 times longer than inner phyllaries +
spreading +  and reflexed +
2-carpellate +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br />) +
persistent +
Flowering late spring–summer (May–Aug). +
papillate +  and smooth +
yellow +  and red +
distinct +  and fused +
papillate +
bearing subulate enations +, hairy +  and bristly +
convex;conic +
dentate +  and smooth +
overlapping +
subulate +
unequal +
exalbuminous +
several;4;5 +
Introduced +
stramineous +
appendaged +  and truncate +
dilated +  and swollen +
enlarged +
Compositae +
Carthamus tinctorius +
Carthamus +
species +
short-campanulate +  and cylindric +
expanded +
slender +
perennial +  and annual +
30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br /> (180 cm1,800 mm <br />1.8 m <br />) +