/saf"low'euhr/, n.
1. a thistlelike composite plant, Carthamus tinctorius, native to the Old World, having finely toothed leaves and large, orange-red flower heads.
2. its dried florets, used medicinally or as a red dyestuff.
[1575-85; < D saffloer < MF safleur, alter. (assimilated to safran SAFFRON and fleur FLOWER) of It asfori < Ar asfar yellow]

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Flowering annual plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the composite family.

Native to parts of Asia and Africa, it is now widely grown as an oil crop in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Israel, and Turkey. Oil obtained from the seeds, an ingredient of soft margarines, salad oil, and cooking oil, is valued for its high proportion of polyunsaturated fats. Since the oil does not yellow with age, it is also a useful base for varnish and paint. The plant, which grows 1–4 ft (0.3–1.2 m) high, has flowers in red, orange, yellow, or white, which were formerly a source of textile dyes.

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)

J.C. Allen and Son

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 flowering annual plant, Carthamus tinctorius, of the Asteraceae (or Compositae) family; native to parts of Asia and Africa, from central India through the Middle East to the upper reaches of the Nile River and into Ethiopia. The safflower plant grows from 0.3 to 1.2 metres (1 to 4 feet) high and has flowers that may be red, orange, yellow, or white. The dried flowers may be used to obtain carthamin, a red textile dye that was commercially important at one time but has since been replaced by synthetic aniline dyes, except in local areas of southwestern Asia. Safflower has been used as an adulterant of the condiment saffron.

      Oil obtained from the seed is the chief modern use of the plant. Safflower oil does not yellow with age, making it useful in preparing varnish and paint. Most of the oil, however, is consumed in the form of soft margarines, salad oil, and cooking oil. It is highly valued for dietary reasons because of its high proportion of polyunsaturated fats. The meal, or cake residue, is used as a protein supplement for livestock. Safflower, grown chiefly in India, has been introduced as an oil crop into the United States, Australia, Israel, Turkey, and Canada.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Safflower — Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms …   Wikipedia

  • Safflower — Saf flow er, n. [F. safleur, saflor, for safran, influenced by fleur flower. See {Saffron}, and {Flower}.] 1. (Bot.) An annual composite plant ({Carthamus tinctorius}), the flowers of which are used as a dyestuff and in making rouge; bastard, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • safflower — [saf′lou΄ər] n. [altered (< SAFFRON & FLOWER) < Du or MFr: Du saffloer < MFr saffleur < It saffiore < Ar aṣfar, yellow] 1. a thistlelike, annual plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the composite family, with large, orange flower heads… …   English World dictionary

  • safflower — SYN: carthamus. [Ar. safra, yellow] * * * saf·flow·er saf .lau̇( ə)r n 1) a widely grown Old World composite herb (Carthamus tinctorius) that has large orange or red flower heads from which a red dyestuff is prepared and seeds rich in oil 2) a… …   Medical dictionary

  • Safflower — Dried flowers of the safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) were used in the making of rouge and textile dyes …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • safflower — dažinis dygminas statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Astrinių šeimos medingas, aliejinis, dekoratyvinis, maistinis, pašarinis, rauginis, dažinis, prieskoninis, vaistinis augalas (Carthamus tinctorius), kilęs iš vakarų Azijos. Iš jo gaminami… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • safflower — noun Etymology: Middle French saffleur, from Old Italian saffiore, from Arabic ‘aṣfar, ‘uṣfur Date: circa 1660 a widely cultivated Old World composite herb (Carthamus tinctorius) with large usually orange or red flower heads and seeds rich in… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • safflower — noun A cultivated thistle like plant, Carthamus tinctorius, family Asteraceae, now grown mainly for its oil. Syn: bastard saffron …   Wiktionary

  • safflower — saf·flow·er || sæflaÊŠÉ™9r) n. false saffron, thistle like Eurasian plant that produces reddish flowers and oil rich seeds (used in foods, medications, and as a dye) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • safflower — noun an orange flowered thistle like plant with seeds that yield an edible oil and petals that were formerly used to produce a red or yellow dye. [Carthamus tinctorius.] Origin ME: from Du. saffloer or Ger. Saflor, via OFr. and Ital. from Arab.… …   English new terms dictionary

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