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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Carthamus Flowers

Types of Flowers 
Carthamus : 
Carthamus ( Safflower ) is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain. It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments. 
Carthamus is one of humanity's oldest crops. Chemical analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles dated to the Twelfth dynasty identified dyes made from safflower, and garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun.John Chadwick reports that the Greek name for safflower occurs many times in Linear B tablets, distinguished into two kinds: a white safflower, which is measured, and red which is weighed. "The explanation is that there are two parts of the plant which can be used; the pale seeds and the red florets." Traditionally, the crop was grown for its seeds, and used for colouring and flavouring foods, in medicines, and making red (carthamin) and yellow dyes, especially before cheaper aniline dyes became available.For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds.

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