Carthamin tinctorius, One of humanity's oldest crops, Dyer's Saffron - One of humanity's oldest crops, highly branched, herbaceous annual with brilliant red, yellow & orange flowers on spiny, thistle-like plants. They are one of the best flowers for drying. Traditionally, grown for its seed, used for colouring & flavouring foods, in medicines, & making red (carthamin) & yellow dyes or a cheap substitute for saffron, (bastard saffron). Ht: to 3 ft, Flowers used in Garlands & smaller songbirds such as cardinals, nuthatches & chickadees readily consume the small, white seeds. Sun & Dry, Seed Count Approx - 15 avg SOWING - Prefers sunny & Dry, direct sow seeds 1.5 inches deep, 6 to 10 inches apart in mid-spring. Germination about 2 to 3 wks, Harvest flowers July onwards when buds start to open or leave to mature for birds. To harvest seed, gather them when leaves turn brown, but be quick or the birds will get them.