SAFFLOWER ! …DROUGHT TOLERANT, EDIBLE, DESERT, ALTERNATIVE FOR SAFFRON???
This beauty was sent to me as LUCKY FREE BONUS ++, for buying 4 packets of seeds…And I AM IMPRESSED with it.
When someone I know bought some seeds, at first they were sure they bought SAFFRON.
They had a picture of the purple flowered bulb and everything on the packet, so they become quite disappointed when this fella came up instead……….
It was only after they did a bit of research that they realised it’s the SAFFLOWER plant, and it’s quite useful in its own right!
Its petals are used the same way as traditional ” SAFFRON “, the seeds are eaten as a snack (like sunflowers, but heaps easier to pop our of the shell intact).
The seeds are pressed for oil, which is the basis for everything from margarines, make-ups, and most “vegetable oil” blends, and processed foods.
Used in traditional Chinese medicine to alleviate pain, increase circulation, and reduce bruising.
The dried flowers are included in various herbal remedies for menstrual pain and minor physical trauma and in India, the flowers are used for their laxative and diaphoretic properties, measels, fevers and eruptive skin conditions.
It was known as “Carthamine” in the 19th Century and analysis of ancient Egyptian textiles the 12th dynasty, identified dyes made from safflower, and garlands made from safflowers were found in the tomb of the pharaoh “Tutankhamen”.
About 600,000 tons of it are grown commercially in more than sixty countries worldwide each year and the number is rising due to the drought tolerance of the plant, and rising temperatures.
Really cool looking flower, and with all those spikes its almost critter proof!
Easy to harvest the petals, just pull them out and leave them in a bowl to dry.
The seeds are even easier to harvest and clean.
Just cut off the pods when dry. Put them in a bucket with a lid, and a stone about as big as a golf ball(actually a golf ball should work good too!).
Put the lid on and shake. The seeds sink to the bottom and the dried pods make good compost.
Great for a snack. Just chuck a handful in you pocket and you can munch them all day.
Meant to be an appetite suppressant too, but HEY ??..Will I note any difference?
We shall see .
Till next time folks, HAPPY GARDENING.
Bellow is an picture of an CROCUS SAFFRON BULB PLANT