Carthamus tinctorius An important crop for millennia, found in King Tut's tomb. Source of healthful and high-quality oil, which can be made at home using a simple hand-crank press. Trendy as a cut flower. Seeds are an outstanding bird food, which attracts desirable species but not starlings and crows. Petals are used as food coloring, as a replacement for saffron, and as a textile dye. Extremely drought-tolerant, native to dry-summer Mediterranean climates. A good bee and butterfly plant.