How to harvest Safflower
Harvest safflower seeds when the plants begin to turn brown.
How to propagate Safflower
Direct seeding is preferable because of the development as a strong taproot. Sowing time is spring. Space seeds 30 cm apart at a depth of 1 mm. Germination takes 2-4 weeks.
Special features of Safflower
Can tolerate drought because of deep root system.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts, beneficial insects and pollinators.
Other uses of Safflower
Food colouring, medicinal, culinary, herbal dyestuffs and cosmetic uses
Safflower flowers are occasionally used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron, sometimes referred to as "bastard saffron". The dried safflower petals are also used as a herbal tea variety. For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds.
Safflower flowers were used for making red (carthamin) and yellow dyes, especially before cheaper aniline dyes became available.