Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
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The Safflower seed is also used for bird seed. Crows and squirrels will not eat this seed so it's good for hanging in the garden or to keep undesireables away.
Safflower oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. It may also be taken as a nutritional supplement. INCI nomenclature is Carthamus tinctorius.
Safflower flowers are occasionally used in cooking as a cheaper substitute for saffron, and are thus sometimes referred to as "bastard saffron." Safflower seed is also used quite commonly as an alternative to sunflower seed in birdfeeders, as squirrels do not like the taste of it.
There are two types of safflower that produce different kinds of oil: one high in monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid) and the other high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (linoleic acid). Currently the predominant oil market is for the former, which is lower in saturates than olive oil, for example.
Safflower oil is also used in painting in the place of linseed oil, particularly with white, as it does not have the yellow tint which linseed oil possesses.
Safflower was also known as carthamine in the 19th century. It is a minor crop today, with about 600,000 tons being produced commercially in more than sixty countries worldwide. India, United States, and Mexico are the leading producers, with Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, China, Argentina and Australia accounting for most of the remainder.
Other names include Sallflower, Beni, or Carthamus Tinctirius.