Carthamus tinctorius L. (asteraceae) is an herbaceous plant that has several applications, from a production of oil of excellent quality to the market of ornamental plants. It has broad adaptability, even in environments with limited water resources and nutrient deficiency, making it a promising crop for the semi-arid regions of Brazil. However, safflower does not have economic expression in the country, mainly due to the unavailability of information on agricultural management techniques and market strategies. Several safflower genotypes were evaluated for cultivation in Pernambuco state forest middle zone as well as its ornamental potential grown in protected environment. In this review will be discussed the main characteristics and applications of safflower. In addition, will be highlighted the main results of those works which may contribute to promote the cultivation of safflower in Brazil. For cultivation in the Pernambuco state forest middle zone, the genotypes studied showed good productive signs. In the evaluation in protected environment, it was observed that the genotypes presented ornamental potential, exhibiting precocity, beauty and durability of the flowers. In addition, the divergence of materials for characters of interest characterizes them as promising for inclusion in breeding programs.
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