Carthamus L.

Outer involucral bracts larger than the inner and resembling cauline leaves Carthamus
Longest involucral bracts 30–40 mm long, with spinescent lobes or spines up to 10 mm long. Leaves deeply lobed or pinnatifid; the lobes ending in spines. Involucre 2–3 cm diam. Corolla yellow. Cypselas 6 mm long. Pappus of scales. Annual herb up to 80 cm high, sometimes slightly woolly. Widespread. Weed of pastures and waste places. Introd. from Europe; Africa and Asia. Fl. summer. Saffron Thistle Carthamus lanatus
Longest involucral bracts c. 15 mm long, with spines c. 2 mm long. Leaves oblong or ovate to lanceolate, with minute spines; the upper ones stem-clasping. Involucre 2–4 cm diam. Corollas orange-yellow. Cypselas 6 mm long. Weed near habitation, Cultivated for seed-oil. Introd. from Europe and Asia. Fl. summer–autumn. Safflower Carthamus tinctorius