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Directorate of Oilseeds Research (ICAR)

safflower root rot

Root Rot (Rhizoctonia bataticola)

Nature of Damage:

Safflower cercospora leaf spot

Cercospora Leaf spot (Cercospora carthami)

Nature of Damage:

  • Symptoms on leaves are characterized by formation of circular to irregular brown sunken spots measuring 3 to 20 mm in diameter.

Safflower alternaria leaf spot

Alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria carthami)

Nature of Damage:

  • Severe in irrigated crop and in warmer areas particularly under frequent showers of cyclonic cloudy weather.
  • Seed may rot and damping off of seedlings occur.

Economic importance


Safflower has been grown in India since ancient times not only for its orange red dye extracted from its florets but also for its seed oil. the dye was largely used for colouring purposes in food and textile industry. With the introduction and availability of cheaper synthetic dyes, use of safflower as a source of dye slowly diminished during twentieth century. The crop is now grown for its premium oil.

Harvesting and Threshing of Safflower

Manual harvesting

The crop is ready for harvest when the leaves and most of the bracteoles except a few on last formed flower heads become dry and brown. Harvest the crop preferably in the early hours when shattering would be minimum and spines relatively soft.

Cut plants with the help of sickles at the base or wherever possible uproot (black soils) by pulling and stack them in the field in the form of small and well pressed heaps until they are fully dried.

Weed control

Chemical weed control

Pre-emergence application of oxadiazon 1 kg/ha or pre-plant incorporation of fluchloralin or trifluralin 1 kg/ha have been found quite effective.

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