What is a safflower?

Thistlelike Plant

A safflower is a thistlelike plant widely cultivated for the edible oitl and dyestuff that it yields.  It is a large flowers that may be white to brilliant red.

The plants grows about 3 feet high and has broad, spiny leaves.  The safflower has been grown in China, India and in other dry parts of the world for many hundreds of years.

At one time, people used the dried flowers of this very useful plants to make a red dye called carthamin which was used in making rouge and for dyeing silk and cotton fabrics light red.

Today, safflower is grown mainly for the oil obtained from its seeds.  Because the oil does not yellow with age, it is used in making paints and varnishes.

Most of the oil, however, is used in the preparation of such foods as margarines. Cooking oil and as salad oil.

The oil is also used in diets for persons with heart diseases and certain other illnesses.

The meal, made from the crushed seeds, is fed to livestock.– Dick Rogers


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