Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Safflower, the flower-heads of Carthamus tinctorius, the "koosumbha" of India and "Hoang-tchi" of China, also known as "bastard saffron." Its native country is unknown, but it was formerly largely cultivated in Bengal, China, Egypt, and Southern Europe. It has an erect whitish stem over two feet high, spinous leaves, no pappus, and orange corollas. It yields two colouring matters, yellow and red, and is used for dying silk various shades of red, and as an adulterant of saffron. "Pink saucers" are coloured with safflower, and with steatite it constitutes rouge. Its seeds yield koosum oil, which is used in India in cooking and for burning, and in Europe for soap-making. The flower-heads are imported in small flat circular cakes; but in place of an export from India of 500 tons valued at £100,000, owing to the increased use of aniline dyes less than one-the fifth of that amount, now only worth £4,500, is exported.