Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Carthamus tinctorius
L., Asteraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk; score: 8 (Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment for Carthamus tinctorius)

Other Latin names:  Calcitrapa tinctoria; Carduus tinctorius; Carthamus glaber Burm. f.; Centaurea carthamus E.H.L. Krause

Common name(s): [more details]

English: dyer's-saffron, false saffron, safflower

Habit:  herb

Description:  "This coarse, thistle-like annual may reach 3' in height and has alternate, petiolate, ovate lower leaves athat are entire, undulate, or pinnate, the margins smooth or spiny; and entire upper leaves that are sessile, lanceolate to ovate, and more or less spiny-toothed. The ovoid to conic-ovoid, discoid flower heads are up to 1.4" in diameter, with green, oblong-lanceolate bracts and vivid yellow, orange, or red disc flowers that are followed by pure white fruit up to 0.25" long, either smooth or with a pappus of small scales." (A Tropical Garden Flora, p. 168)

Habitat/ecology:  In cultivation: "Safflower adapts to full sun, mesic to dry conditions, and various kinds of soil, including those that contain loam, sandy loam, or clay-loam. It prefers cool to warm temperatures while in the rosette stage, and warm to hot temperatures after it bolts (a warm-temperate zone with long summer days, a long growing season, and adequate rainfall prior to the blooming period). In areas with high humidity or cool weather during the summer, this plant is vulnerable to a variety of fungal disease organisms. Because of the deep taproot, resistance to heat and drought is excellent." (Ilinois Wildflowers)

Propagation:  "Naturalized plants can occur after birds inadvertently drop the seeds, or spill the seeds from a bird feeder." (Ilinois Wildflowers)

Native range:  western Asia (A Tropical Garden Flora, p. 168)

"probable origin w. Asia" (GRIN) "This plant is probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of southern and central Asia, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years." (Ilinois Wildflowers)

Impacts and invaded habitats:  (no invaded habitats or impacts known by PIER; please let us know if you know of such information we should add here)

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Consortium of Pacific Herbaria (2018)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Asia
Asia
Asia (central) native
cultivated
Hilty, John (year unknown)
"This plant is probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of southern and central Asia, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years." accessed 20180903
Asia
Asia
Asia (southern) native
cultivated
Hilty, John (year unknown)
"This plant is probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of southern and central Asia, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years." accessed 20180903
Asia
Asia
Asia (southern) native
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"Believed to have originated in southern Asia..." accessed 20180903
Asia
Asia
Asia (temperate) introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
Asia
Asia
Asia (western) native
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2005)
Asia
Asia
Asia (western) native (presumably)
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180903, "probable origin w. Asia"
Asia
Asia
Iran cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"...is known to have been cultivated in...Persia...almost from prehistoric times." accessed 20180903
Australia
Australia
Australia   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 68)
(F)=flora species is known in the country's flora, but "confirming evidence is needed that the plant behaves as a weed"
Australia
Australia
Australia introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
British Columbia (province of Canada)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) introduced
invasive
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
China
China
China (People's Republic of) cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"...is known to have been cultivated in China...almost from prehistoric times." accessed 20180903
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as naturalized
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"soon after discovery of America, the Spanish took it to Mexico and then to Venezuela and Colombia." accessed 20180903
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"During Middle Ages it was cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain...." accessed 20180903
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as cultivated in the U.S. & naturalized in Oregon
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as cultivated in the U.S. & naturalized in California
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as cultivated in the U.S. & naturalized in Washington
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Africa
Africa
Africa introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details
Africa
Africa
Egypt cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"...is known to have been cultivated in...Egypt...almost from prehistoric times." accessed 20180903
Africa
Africa
Madeira Islands introduced
invasive
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details
Canada
Canada
Canada introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Canary Islands introduced
invasive
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details
Eurasia
Eurasia
Turkey invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 68)
(X)=present as a weed (but importance rank unknown)
Europe
Europe
Europe introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
accessed 20180710, see ref for country details, ref cites species as naturalized
Europe
Europe
France cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"During Middle Ages it was cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain...." accessed 20180903
Europe
Europe
Italy cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"During Middle Ages it was cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain...." accessed 20180903
Europe
Europe
Mediterranean region (eastern) native
cultivated
Hilty, John (year unknown)
"This plant is probably native to the eastern Mediterranean region and parts of southern and central Asia, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years." accessed 20180903
Europe
Europe
Portugal   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 68)
(F)=flora species is known in the country's flora, but "confirming evidence is needed that the plant behaves as a weed"
Europe
Europe
Spain cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"During Middle Ages it was cultivated in Italy, France, and Spain...." accessed 20180903
India
India
India (Republic of) cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"...is known to have been cultivated in...India...almost from prehistoric times." accessed 20180903
South America
South America
Argentina introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as cultivated in the U.S. & naturalized in Washington
United States of America
United States
United States introduced
invasive
cultivated
U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (year unknown)
ref cites species as cultivated in the U.S. & naturalized in Washington
United States of America
United States
United States introduced
cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"It was introduced into United States in 1925 from the Mediterranean region and is now grown in all parts west of 100th meridian." accessed 20180903
United States of America
United States
United States (eastern) introduced
cultivated
Hilty, John (year unknown)
"In the eastern half of the United States (including Illinois), naturalized plants are typically found around bird feeders as Safflower is sometimes used as a source of bird seed. Naturalized plants can occur after birds inadvertently drop the seeds, or spill the seeds from a bird feeder. As a result, typically habitats in Illinois are unmowed areas around bird feeders, including vegetable gardens, flowerbeds, open spaces near shrubbery, and edges of yards. However, these naturalized plants rarely persist from one year to the next." 20180903
United States of America
United States
United States (western) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Hilty, John (year unknown)
"The non-native Safflower uncommonly naturalizes in Illinois, occurring in Champaign County (see Distribution Map). However, the presence of this species within the state is probably under-reported. Because of its preference for areas with relatively low humidity, Safflower is cultivated primarily in the western half of the United States, where it more frequently naturalizes." accessed 20180903
Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Crop Index (Purdue University) (1983)
"soon after discovery of America, the Spanish took it to Mexico and then to Venezuela and Colombia." accessed 20180903

Comments:  Cultivated and naturalized in Africa, temperate Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America; also cultivated in tropical Asia; adventive in northern and central Europe. (GRIN)

Control:  (control info not known by PIER)


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 12 SEP 2017 and was last updated on 3 SEP 2018.