Theoretical and practical aspects of the introduction of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) in the Republic of Moldova.
Carthamus tinctorius L. (safflower) is an oilseeds plant and high potential crop because of multipurpose utilization. However, this plant has not been cultivated in the Republic of Moldova until now. The purpose was the evaluation of the biological and production potential of safflower in the eco-geographical area of the Republic of Moldova, during the vegetation season of 2015. This season was characterized as hotter and dryer compared to the entire period of meteorological observations because of high temperatures (2.23.3°C higher than the normal) and 100...200 mm lower rainfall amounts. There were determined various morphological properties of spineless safflower varieties such as its dynamics of growth, plant height, branches per plant; time to abundant flowering, duration of flowering, heads per plant, seeds of different category per plant, weight of seeds collected from one plant, 100-seed weight. The vegetation period of safflower plants grown without irrigation from germination to complete maturity was 135 days. The number of inflorescences per plant varied in limits 5...39 (the mean was equal to 13.16). Approximately 83% of the experimental plants had approximately 3.73 undeveloped inflorescences. Safflower plant produced on average 314.38 white, shiny and smooth seeds, which were split into two categories: the first - seeds having length and diameter more than 0.7 cm and 0.4 cm respectively; and the second category - other seeds. 100-seed weight of the first and the second category seeds was 3.28±0.48, respectively 2.59±0.45 g. The seed extracts contained 68.86±2.49 mg of polyphenols per g dry residue of extract and possessed antioxidant activity. The obtained results will serve as practical basis for introducing a new valuable species of plants in the agriculture of the Republic of Moldova.