Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is an ancient crop with many uses. Traditionally it was grown for its flowers, which are used as a dye, for food coloring, flavoring, and for medicinal purposes. Seeds are now the major use, producing bird feed and a high quality edible and industrial oil. Potential, expanded uses include production of transgenic pharmaceuticals, as a biofuel, and for specialty oil types to improve human diet.
The Western Regional Plant Introduction Station (WRPIS) at Pullman maintains the USDA national collection of safflower germplasm, which currently includes more than 2300 accessions. These accessions, representing germplasm from more than 50 countries, are available without charge to scientists upon request.
To enhance Safflower utilization and networking, the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (now Bioversity International), together with the International Safflower Germplasm Advisory Committee (ISGAC), established a safflower website. This site includes general information on safflower germplasm, the ISGAC, and role of the WRPIS in supporting safflower research and utilization worldwide.