Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)

Warm Season Annual

Safflower is an upright annual broadleaf. It is a late maturing species, related to sunflowers. Older varieties have a spine on the leaf tip, which can affect palatability as it matures. There are new varieties without the spines. Safflower has a deep branching root system that gives it good drought tolerance. The deep root system is good at capturing nutrients deep in the soil and brings it to the surface. Salinity tolerance is very good, but shade tolerance is fair. Regrowth is poor, so must be either stockpiled or just used a single cut situation. It will provide good soil armour as it matures.

Seeds per pound: 15,000 Seeds/sq ft/pound 0.41


  • Erosion control
  • Soil builder
  • Nitrogen scavenger
  • Grazing potential
  • Hay potential
  • Salinity fighter


  • Salinity tolerance
  • Drought tolerance
  • Soil armour


Spines can cause palatability issues if mature.


Good. Need a blend of grasses and legumes.


Good. Should be cut before the plant matures to give best palatability.

Mycorrhizal support? Yes