Common name: Safflower
Botanical name: Carthamus tinctorius
Annual thistle-like herb, coarse, branching above with a strong central stem to 1.5 m tall; leaves spiny, oblong or ovate-lanceolate, waxy, the upper ones clasping, minutely spinose-toothed; flowers in 1-5 heads per plant, 2.5-3.7 cm across, each head developing 15-50 seeds; corollas yellow, orange, white or red, surrounded by a cluster of leafy spiny bracts, which pass over gradually into the bracts of the involucre; achenes (fruits or seeds) white, 6-7 mm long, shining, the hull accounting for 1/3-1/2 total weight of seed. Fl. summer. Sturdy taproot penetrating to 2.5 m.
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