Safflowers & Sunflowers...

Driving to Yuba City, we passed miles and miles of fields with sunflowers planted but which have yet to bloom. Then we stumbled upon this field. Oh my goodness... I was in flora heaven.

This unique ray of sunshine is the Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant. It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 12 to 59 in tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers. Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain. It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments. Oh man, and thriving they were. Absolutely gorgeous.

An added treat to this picturesque scene were the rogue sunflowers scattered about. Wow!

Driving the road-less-traveled really does offer treasures. This was an extra special discovery.

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Cyndy Brown said...

How beautiful! The seeds you gave me are now about 7" tall and I am "mothering" them before I plant in my to come.

Aquí Ahí Allá said...

Wow. That is a lot of yellow! There must be some happy bees up there. As well as some happy Haerrs. :)

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