Taxon: Carthamus tinctorius L.

Genus: Carthamus
Section: Carthamus
Family: Asteraceae (alt.Compositae)
Subfamily: Carduoideae
Tribe: Cardueae
Subtribe: Centaureinae
Nomen number: 9243
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:830. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 01-Mar-2012 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 11-Aug-2013
Species priority site is: Western Regional PI Station (W6)
Accessions: 2398 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Food additives: adulterant (of saffron fide F Turk)
  • Harmful organism host: crop diseases (fide Crop Prod Sci Hort 9:134.)
  • Bee plants: honey production (fide L. Gilbert, pers. comm. 2002)
  • Environmental: ornamental (for cut-flower production (esp. dried flowers) fide L. Gilbert, pers. comm.)
  • Human food: oil/fat (fide Wealth India RM ed2, 3:310. 1992; PROTA4U)
  • Human food: starch (fide PROTA4U)
  • Animal food: fodder (seed-cake is high protein food supplement & used as birdseed fide Food Feed Crops US)
  • Materials: lipids (fide Wealth India RM ed2, 3:310-312. 1992)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (fide Wealth India RM ed2, 3:310-312. 1992)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional Range:



  • Africa

    • Macaronesia: Portugal Madeira Islands; Spain Canary Islands
    • Northern Africa: Egypt ; Tunisia
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia
    • China: China Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Monggol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Zhejiang
    • Western Asia: Lebanon ; Syria
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
  • Europe

    • Eastern Europe: Moldova ; Ukraine
    • Middle Europe: Austria
    • Southeastern Europe: Greece ; Italy ; Serbia ; Slovenia
    • Southwestern Europe: France ; Portugal ; Spain
  • Northern America

    • North-Central U.S.A.: United States Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota
    • Northeastern U.S.A.: United States Massachusetts, Ohio
    • Northern Mexico: Mexico Baja California, San Luis Potosi
    • Northwestern U.S.A.: United States Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
    • South-Central U.S.A.: United States New Mexico
    • Southern Mexico: Mexico Michoacan
    • Southwestern U.S.A.: United States Arizona, California, Utah
    • Western Canada: Canada Alberta, British Columbia
  • Southern America

    • Southern South America: Argentina ; Chile

  • Cultivated

  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya ; Tanzania
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia ; Sudan
    • Northern Africa: Algeria ; Egypt ; Morocco
    • South Tropical Africa: Zambia ; Zimbabwe
    • Southern Africa: Botswana ; South Africa
    • West Tropical Africa: Burkina Faso ; Mali ; Nigeria
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Azerbaijan
    • China: China
    • Eastern Asia: Japan
    • Middle Asia: Kazakhstan
    • Siberia: Russian Federation-Western Siberia Western Siberia
    • Western Asia: Cyprus ; Iraq ; Turkey
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India
    • Indo-China: Myanmar ; Vietnam
    • Malesia: Indonesia ; Malaysia ; Philippines
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia
  • Europe

    • Middle Europe: Austria ; Hungary
    • Southeastern Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina ; Bulgaria ; Croatia ; Romania
  • Northern America

    • Canada ; Mexico ; United States
  • Southern America

    • Southern South America: Argentina

  • Adventive

  • Europe

    • Middle Europe: Czech Republic ; Germany ; Netherlands ; Poland ; Slovakia ; Switzerland
    • Northern Europe: Ireland ; United Kingdom


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Cannon, J. & M. Cannon Dye plants and dyeing. The Herbert Press & The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 1994 (Dye Pl)
  • Chapman, M. A. & J. M. Burke 2007. DNA sequence diversity and the origin of cultivated safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.; Asteraceae) B. M. C. Pl. Biol. 7:60(1-9).
  • Chapman, M. A. et al. 2010. Population genetic analysis of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius; Asteraceae) reveals a Near Eastern origin and five centers of diversity Amer. J. Bot. 97:831-840.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India 1992. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. Raw materials (revised edition). (Wealth India RM ed2) 3:302-313.
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource). (EuroMed Plantbase)
  • FNA Editorial Committee Flora of North America. (F NAmer)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Gilbert, L. 2002. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Hanelt, P. 1963. Monographische Übersicht der Gattung Carthamus L. (Compositae) Feddes Repert. 67:90-91.
  • Hanelt, P., ed. Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops. Volumes 1-6. 2001 (Mansf Ency)
  • Hansen, A. & P. Sunding Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants, ed. 4. Sommerfeltia vol. 17. (L Macar ed4)
  • Hara, H. et al. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal. (L Nepal)
  • Havel, J. 1995. Rosliny Oleiste 16:83-90.
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards Flora of Ethiopia. 1989- (and Eritrea. 2000) (F Ethiop)
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11. (L Aust)
  • Instituto de Botánica Darwinion Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares. (F ConoSur)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. (F USSR)
  • Li, D.-J. & H. H. Mündel 1997. Safflower. Carthamus tinctorius L. (Prom Underused Crops) 7:1-83.
  • Li, H. L. et al., eds. Flora of Taiwan. (F Taiwan)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. (Hortus 3)
  • Magness, J. R. et al. Food and feed crops of the United States. IR Bull. 1. 1971 (Crops US)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • McPherson, M. A. et al. 2004. Theoretical hybridization potential of transgenic safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) with weedy relatives in the New World Canad. J. Pl. Sci. 84:923-934.
  • Mouterde, P. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. (F Liban)
  • Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants (Kulturpflanze) 34:87.
  • Natural Products Research Institute, Seoul National University Medicinal plants in the Republic of Korea. WHO Regional Publications Western Pacific Series No. 21. (Med Pl Korea)
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  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
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  • Rzedowski, J. & G. Rzedowski, eds. Flora del Bajio y de regiones adyacentes. (F Bajio)
  • Sehgal, D. et al. 2008. Chloroplast DNA diversity reveals the contribution of two wild species to the origin and evolution of diploid safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) (Genome) 51:638-643.
  • Sharma, B. D. et al., eds. Flora of India. (F India)
  • Thulin, M., ed. Flora of Somalia. (F Somalia)
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  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). (F ChinaEng)
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan Flora palaestina. (F Palest)

Check other web resources for Carthamus tinctorius L. :