Home >> Plants Profile: Part-C >> Carthamus tinctorius L.

Carthamus tinctorius L.

Carthamus glaber Burm.f.
Centaurea carthamus E.H.L.Krause

Duration: Annual
Family: Asteraceae - Aster family
Group: Dicot
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Kushum, Kajira.

Tribal Name: Angthokanay-kamse (Khumi).

English Name: Safflower.

Description of Plant:

A thisle-like annual herb. Leaves sessile, rigid, broad-lanceolate, spinosely serrate. Flowery orange-red in large terminal heads.

Chemical Constituents:

Safflower contains carthamone, lignans and a polysaccharide. Aerial parts of the plant contain acetylenic compounds. Flowers contain eleven triterpene alcohols, helianol being the major one, a yellow pigment, safflomin A and the coloring matter, carthamin. Seed is rich in fixed oil, contains a bitter principle, matairesinol mono-glucosides.

It also contains steroidal glycosides and sterioid di-glucosides, aellobioside, tracheloside; cathartic lignan glycoside, 2-OH-arctiin, luteolin 7-glucoside, kaempferol-3-rhamnoglucoside and phenolic constituents. Seeds also contain heptadecatetraene and polyacetylenes. Three novel antioxidative serotonin derivatives have been isolated from the oil cake. Fruit contains alkaloids (Ghani, 2003).

Mode of Uses:

Young plants are efficacious in colds. Leaves and flowers are cooked as vegetable (Khumi).


Cultivated as an oil crop.

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