Carthame Dyers (Carthamus Tinctorius) Or Bastard Saffron

Carthame dyers (Carthamus tinctorius) or bastard saffron

Safflower is an annual herbaceous plant with an upright and bushy habit that grows mainly in dry and sunny environments and is also known as "bastard saffron", "dyers saffron" or "false saffron".

The inflorescences in capitula 2 to 4 cm in diameter are grouped in light corymbs having at their base a large involucre of green bracts, steep from which emerge tufts of florets which radiate in egret, of red, orange or yellow colors.

At the base, rosette leaves are gray-green, oval with linear tendency, simple, with thorny teeth, and each rosette starts a branched stem bearing cauline, embracing, narrow and lanceolate leaves.

Dry fruits or achenes that develop after flowering contain edible seeds rich in essential fatty acids, whose oil has anti-inflammatory properties.

For centuries this dye plant has been used to make a yellow or red dye that is used for textiles but also in cosmetology. If she can color dishes like saffron (Crocus sativus), the safflower has absolutely no taste!

  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Type: annual
  • Origin: West Asia
  • Color: yellow, orange, red flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: no
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: July to September
  • Height: up to 1 m

Ideal soil and exposure for safflower safflower

safflower dried up in the winter

Safflower's safflower is a dry garden plant grown in full sun in soil that may be poor, stony, dry but above all well-drained because the plant hates moisture.

Date of sowing and planting of dyers' saffron

Seeding is done directly in March-April by avoiding transplanting the feet because the plant does not appreciate because of its taproot which sinks deeply.

It is very easy to recover the seeds from one year to another by recovering them in September on a plant before the frost finishes it.

Advice for the care and cultivation of safflower safflower

The bastard saffron is not demanding and grows easily when it is not overgrown with weeds: if it is, it is better to remove them by hoeing.

Harvesting, conservation and use of dyers' saffron

It is a flower that makes pretty fresh bouquets because it has excellent hold, but it is also very good for drying. So you can cut the stems of flowers and dry them upside down, in the dark, to create dry bouquets.

My garden in winter Snezana Gerbault (Editions Delachaux & Niestlé)

Until the heart of winter, safflower retains an ornamental interest in the garden because in fading, it takes on a straw-yellow color with its thorny achenes and thorny coriaceous leaves ending up looking like lace. Like many other plants, safflower can become very graphic, revealing itself in a different light with winter. Textures and dried forms then structure the garden and, if the frost or the snow invite, they will come to underline the delicacy of these plants which linger.

It is a different beauty, that of winter, which will lead to a rebirth of nature, and it is, precisely, all the unsuspected charms of the gardens in winter that are presented in the book of Snezana Gerbault "My garden in winter" (Editions Delachaux & Niestlé - October 26, 2017), through 50 species of plants, including safflower, likely to compose sustainable decorations, and sometimes ephemeral, which are maintained all the winter, even until the following spring... By traversing this work, the gardener realizes that the Garden in Winter is a moving garden that integrates plants at any stage of their development by playing with foliage and colored bark as well as with unusual materials and hues of dry plants.

Diseases, pests and parasites of safflower's safflower

Decay and rust develop in case of excessive moisture.

Location and favorable association of safflower safflower

Carthamus tinctorius with yellow flowers

It is a plant that is grown in beds or in flowerbeds.

There are about fifteen species of the genus Safflower but Carthamus tinctorius has been extensively developed giving rise to many cultivars to meet the demands of florists and those related to its dyeing, oleaginous and ornamental properties.

These include Carthamus tinctorius 'Orange ball' with orange flowers, Carthamus tinctorius 'Summer sun' with yellow flowers, Carthamus tinctorius 'Lasting white' with cream flowers...

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