*Carthamus lanatus

Family Asteraceae

Saffron Thistle

Herb to 1 m high. Longevity to 1 year.

Flowers: Yellow cream with dark veins, spring – early summer.

Fruit: Achene to 6 mm long, with pappus of stiff bristles 7 – 10 mm long.

Seed: Animal, water and wind dispersed.

Gallery images: seed, seedling, rootstock, resprout


  • Native to Europe
  • Minor weed at the Australian Botanic Garden

Asterisk * indicated exotic species naturalised at the Australian Botanic Garden.

Ecology of Cumberland Plain Woodland

Carthamus lanatus plant 

Carthamus lanatus flower