Effect of harvest time of spring safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) florets on the production of red and yellow pigments

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M. Mohammadi
A. Tavakoli


carthamidin, carthamin, harvest time, safflower


A factorial experiment in a randomised complete block design with three replications was conducted to study the effect of harvest time of florets of spring safflower varieties on the amount of red (carthamin) and yellow (carthamidin) pigments in the petals. The first factor was the variety of safflower (MEC88, MEC59, Goldasht, Zendehrood, Sina) and the second factor was harvest time of florets (onset of flowering, after pollination at onset of petal wilting). The results showed that, at the onset of flowering, spring safflower varieties showed the highest yield of florets and MEC59, MEC88, Zendehrood and Sina showed good yield of florets. Harvest time affected the amount of carthamin and carthamidin; florets produced more carthamidin at the beginning of flowering and the amount of carthamidin decreased during flower development, while the amount of carthamin increased. The effect of cultivars was significant. To get the highest level of carthamidin, Zendehrood should be harvested at the onset of flowering. If carthamin is needed, Zendehrood should be harvested immediately after pollination, at the onset of petal wilting.

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