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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
Typification: View record from Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project of the Natural History Museum of London.
Name verified on: 01-Mar-2012 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 11-Aug-2013
Species priority site is: Western Regional PI Station (W6).
Accessions: 2397 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • only available ) NPGS core subset accessions for the crop ‘SAFFLOWER’ ) or .
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • dyer's-saffron   (Source: Zander Ency ) – English
  • false saffron   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – English
  • safflower   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • hong hua   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • hong lan hua   (Source: F Taiwan ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • carthame des teinturiers   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • safran bâtard   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • safranon   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • safre   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – French
  • Färber-Saflor   (Source: Zander Ency ) – German
  • Färberdistel   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • falscher Safran   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – German
  • Saflor   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • cartamo   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • zaffrone   (Source: Mansf Ency ) – Italian
  • beni-bana   (Source: F Okin ) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • iskkot   (Source: Kulturpflanze 34:87.) – Transcribed Korean
  • açaflor   (Source: PROTA4U ) – Portuguese
  • açafrão-bastardo   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • açafroa   (Source: PROTA4U ) – Portuguese
  • alazor   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • azafrán bastardo   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • cártamo   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • alizeti ya miba   (Source: PROTA4U ) – Swahili
  • kartamu   (Source: PROTA4U ) – Swahili
  • safflor   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

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:

      Naturalized: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Macaronesia: Portugal - Madeira Islands; Spain - Canary Islands
    Northern Africa: Egypt; Tunisia
    Western Asia: Lebanon; Syria
    Caucasus: Armenia
    China: China - Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Monggol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Zhejiang
    Australia: Australia
    Middle Europe: Austria
    East Europe: Moldova; Ukraine [incl. Krym]
    Southeastern Europe: Greece; Italy; Serbia; Slovenia
    Southwestern Europe: France; Portugal; Spain
    Western Canada: Canada - Alberta, British Columbia
    Northeastern U.S.A.: United States - Massachusetts, Ohio
    North-Central U.S.A.: United States - Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota
    Northwestern U.S.A.: United States - Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
    South-Central U.S.A.: United States - New Mexico
    Southwestern U.S.A.: United States - Arizona, California, Utah
    Northern Mexico: Mexico - Baja California, San Luis Potosi
    Southern Mexico: Mexico - Michoacan
    Southern South America: Argentina; Chile

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

    Northern Africa: Algeria; Egypt; Morocco
    Northeast Tropical Africa: Ethiopia; Sudan
    East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania
    West Tropical Africa: Burkina Faso; Mali; Nigeria
    South Tropical Africa: Zambia; Zimbabwe
    Southern Africa: Botswana; South Africa
    Western Asia: Cyprus; Iraq; Turkey
    Caucasus: Azerbaijan
    Siberia: Russian Federation - Western Siberia
    Middle Asia: Kazakhstan
    China: China
    Eastern Asia: Japan
    Indian Subcontinent: India
    Indo-China: Myanmar; Vietnam
    Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines
    Australia: Australia
    Middle Europe: Austria; Hungary
    Southeastern Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Romania
    United States
    Southern South America: Argentina
  • lesser cultivated elsewhere

  • probable origin w. Asia



Check other web resources for Carthamus tinctorius L.:


  • GRIN Images of germplasm accessions.
  • Fruits: Seed ID Workshop image, from Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Ohio State University
  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (08 October 2015)

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