Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Carthamus tinctorius Sp. Pl. 830. 1753; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 3: 386. 1881.

Eng.: Safflower; Hindi: Kusum; Tamil.: Sendurkem; Tel.: Kusamba.

Herbs, erect, glabrous, ca 45 cm high, thistle like. Leaves lanceolate, spinous toothed, 4 - 12 x 1 - 3 cm, stiff, sessile. Heads 1.2 - 2.5 cm across, discoid, terminal. Involucral bracts many, spinous, erect; outer ones leaf like; inner narrow. Receptacle flat, densely bristly. Flowers orange red. Corona tube slender, deeply 5-lobed. Achenes 4-angled, glabrous.

Fl. & Fr. Feb. - April.

Distrib. India: Cultivated almost throughout India and sometimes found as an escape.

Notes. The plant is cultivated for its valuable oil. It also yields a dye. Seeds are used in rheumatism, as purgative, diuretic, etc.

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