The Full Wiki

Safflower: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Safflower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Carthamus
Species: C. tinctorius
Binomial name
Carthamus tinctorius
(Mohler, Roth, Schmidt & Boudreaux, 1967)[citation needed]

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.[1]) is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp spines on the leaves. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads (capitula) and commonly, brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers which bloom in July. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower has a strong taproot which enables it to thrive in dry climates, but the plant is very susceptible to frost injury from stem elongation to maturity.

Contents

Uses

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.[2] For the last fifty years or so, the plant has been cultivated mainly for the vegetable oil extracted from its seeds. In April 2007 it was reported that genetically modified safflower has been bred to create insulin.[3]

Carthamus tinctorius

Safflower oil is flavorless and colorless, and nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. It is used mainly in cosmetics and 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 purchased at a market in Turkey

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.

The pharmaceutical company SemBioSys Genetics is currently using transgenic safflower plants to produce human insulin as the global demand for the hormone grows. Safflower-derived human insulin is currently in the PI/II trials on human test subjects. Phillip Stephan, SemBioSys Genetics Inc, product bulletin June 2008.[4]

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.

Lana is a strain of Safflower that grows in the southwestern United States, most notably Arizona and New Mexico.

In colouring textiles, safflower's dried flowers are used as a natural textile dye. Natural dyes derived from plants are not widely used in industry but it is getting more important world wide because of naturality and fashion trends. The colourful matter in safflower is benzoquinone-based Carthamin, so it is one of the quinone type natural dyes. It is a direct dye (CI Natural Red 26) and soluble. Yellow, mustard, khaki, olive green or even red colours can be obtained on textiles, but it is mostly used for yellow colours. All hydrophilic fibres (all natural fibres, such as cotton, wool, etc.) can be dyed with this plant since it can be classified as a direct dye. Polyamide can also be dyed without a mordant agent because of its wool-like chemical structure. Polyester, polyacrylnitryl and others which are hydrophobic synthetic fibres can be dyed only in the existence of a mordant.

Safflower concentrate is an ingredient of the carbonated soft drinks Tizer.

History

Safflower 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.[5] 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."[6]

Safflower was also known as carthamine in the 19th century.[7] 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, Chimichanga, or Carthamus Tinctorius.

Diseases

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Safflower - Carthamus tinctorius L
  2. ^ Daniel Zohary and Maria Hopf, Domestication of plants in the Old World, third edition (Oxford: University Press, 2000), p.211
  3. ^ BBC NEWS | Health | Firm in GM insulin breakthrough
  4. ^ http://www.sembiosys.com/pdf/SBS-1723-Product-FS(Insulin).pdf sembiosys.com
  5. ^ Zohary and Hopf, ibid.
  6. ^ John Chadwick, The Mycenaean World (Cambridge: University Press, 1976), p. 120
  7. ^ De Candolle, Alphonse. (1885.) Origin of cultivated plants. D. Appleton & Co.: New York, p. 164. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAFFLOWER (ultimately from the Arabic safra, yellow) or Bastard Saffron (Carthamus tinctorius), a plant of the natural order compositae; its flowers form the basis of the safflower dye of commerce. The plant is a native of the East Indies, but is cultivated in Egypt and to some extent in southern Europe. To obtain the dyeing principle - carthamin, C14H1407 - the flowers are first washed to free them from a soluble yellow colouring matter they contain; they are then dried and powdered, and digested in an alkaline solution in which pieces of clean white cotton are immersed. The alkaline solution having been, neutralized with weak acetic acid, the cotton is removed and washed in another alkaline solution. When this second solution is neutralized with acid, carthamin in a pure condition is precipitated as a dark red powder. It forms a brilliant but fugitive scarlet dye for silk, but is principally used for preparing toilet rouge.


<< Saffi

Saffron >>








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message