20 Safflower seeds, Carthamus Tinctorius
Grown commercially in the US for its oil; for an unusual yet lovely flower that attracts bees, safflower is a good choice. The plant has foliage that is thistle-like and reaches 30 - 36 inches in height. It blooms throughout the summer with orange, tubular flowers. The Carthamus flower is often used for dried arrangements as is considered to be an everlasting. Plant orange Safflowers on banks and slopes, beds and borders, containers, cottages gardens, and many other applications. The color of the blooms is outstanding, and the foliage is mildly prickly.
Traditionally Carthamus Safflower was grown from herb seeds for its flower used in coloring and flavoring food, making dyes for silk or wool, and in medicine. The Carthamus herb makes a good replacement for expensive saffron.
In the last 30 - 40 years, its production as an oil seed crop has received a great deal of attention as it provides a quality oil that is considered to be a healthier option over other types of vegetable oil.
How To Grow Safflower Seed:
Only germinates in darkness. When sowing Carthamus tinctorius flower seeds outdoors, it should be planted at a depth of 1/4 inch in light soil in the early spring, before the last frost of the season. When growing Safflower seeds indoors, the seed should be sown in peat pots about 8 weeks before they are ready to be transplanted outdoors after danger of frost has passed. The seedlings should be planted out with a spacing of 6 - 10 inches in a sunny part of the garden. Protection from rabbits may be needed.