Safflower is a thistlelike Eurasian plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the daisy family, having heads of red or orange flowers that are the source of a red dye.
The seeds, which look like small pine nuts, contain an oil used in foods (especially margarines), cosmetics, paints, and medicine. The flower petals are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron ('bastard saffron').
Safflower has been found in Egyptian tombs dating to about 3500 B.C.
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