Carthamus tinctorius (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Artemisia turanica
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Carthamus tinctorius (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Centaurea squarrosa
Carthamus tinctorius

Carthamus tinctorius L.

Local name:

  • Russian: Сафлор красильный - saflor krasil'nyj
  • Uzbek: Makhsar
  • Tadjik: Mashar, Gul kadjra

Description and morphology: Annual herb (height 40–80 cm). Stem: simple or branched, furrowed, glabrous, whitish. Leaves: sessile (4–16 cm long, 1.5–3.5 cm wide), alternate, hard, clasping, oblong, oblong-oviform or nearly lanceolate, smooth or with short hairs above, entire or with weakly dentate margins, spiny at the end. Inflorescence: terminal capitule (2.0–2.5 cm in diameter). Involucral bracts many-seriate (0.8–2.5 cm long, 2.5– 3.0 cm wide), elliptic or nearly orbicular. Flowers: bisexual; tubular. Pappus usually scales. Corolla orange-red (2.4–2.6 cm); tube narrow, long; laminas 6.5–7.0 cm; 5 stamens (6–7 mm long), accreted together at their bases; filaments glabrous, free.

Reproduction: Sexual. Fruit: achenes glabrous, 4-angled (7–8 mm long, 4.5 mm wide) with a membranous pericarp. Seed: erect large embryo without endosperm. Light-sensitive. Dormancy A1–B1 type. Germination low (10–30%) at 20–30 °C. Washing with distilled water for 24 hours and/or treatment with infrared radiation increase germination.

Pastoral importance: A good forage for all livestock. A potential plant for silage or winter concentrate.

Economic interest: Valuable as a food, dye and for vegetable oil. Cultivated on the adyr in Uzbekistan.

Habitat: Meso-xerophyte. Widely distributed as a weed on the desert-steppe zones of foothills and cultivated fields.

Distribution: India, Caucasus and Middle Asia.