by Stephen Mifsud
   27 Feb 2020      ()
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Carthamus tinctorius   (Orange Carthamus)

Carthamus tinctorius   (ASTERACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Carthamus tinctorius retrieved from on 2020-Feb-27

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Carthamus tinctorius L.
Published in Sp. Pl. 830 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl (=Compositae) (The Daisy or Sunflower Family)
125 species from the Asteraceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Orange Carthamus

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Casual or accidental alien species introduced in Malta rather recently and which is short-lived or resticted in small populations for a short time without becoming widespread.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE (annuals)
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Often found close to bird-trapping areas and fields where it was previously cultivated

Botanical Description:

Subglabrous annual. Cauline leaves undivided or rarely sinuate to pinnatifid, ovate to lanceolate-ovate, spinose-dentate or entire. Capitula broadly ovoid to conical-ovoid. Inner involucral bracts oblong-lanceolate, entire. Corolla yellow, orange or reddish; filaments subglabrous. Achenes obpyramidal, more or less smooth, shiny, white. Pappus absent or rarely the inner achenes with short narrow scales.

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Formerly cultivated in a large part of Europe for its red and yellow flower-pigments used in dyeing nowadays cultivated on a smaller scale in parts of S. & C. Europe, mainly for the oil derived from the achenes, and occasionally naturalized.

Native region outside Europe:

(W. Asia)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Introduced in  Austria and Liechtenstein, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, Doubtful in France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Doubtful in Germany, Doubtful in Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

[cAb(A) AE(G) cAg Ar cAu Au(A L) aBe(B) cBH aBr cBu Ca(C F T) aCs cCt cCy Eg cEs Ga(F) aGe Gr aHb(E N) aHe aHo Hs(S) cHu nIt cJu Le cLi nLu cMa nMd(M P) Mo aPo Rf(S) cRm cSi(M) aSk Sl Sr Sy Tn cTu(A) Uk(K U)]

Images (6 images)
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-0.
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-1.
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-2.
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-3.
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-4.
   Carthamus tinctorius   -   Image Code: CTHTN-5.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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