Safflower is self-pollinated with some cross-pollination. Pollen and nectaries are abundant with insects working the flowers. Safflower is attacked by many fungi: Alternaria carthami (leaf spot and bud rot), A. zinniae, Bremia lactucae, Cercospora carthami, Cercosporella carthami, Chae-tomium globosum, Collectorichum capsici, Corticium solani, Ectoctroma carthami, Epicoccum nigrum, Erysiphe cichoracearum, Fusarium acuminatum, F. solani, Gloeosporium carthami, Glomerella cingulata, Leveillula compositarum, L. taurica, Macrophomina phaseoli, Macro-sporium carthami, Marsonia carthami, Oidium carthami, Oidiopsis taurica, Phyllosticta carthami, Phytophthora drechsleri (root rot), Ph. palmivora, Ph. parasitica, Puccinia carthami (rust), Pythium debaryanum, P. oligandrum, Ramularia carthami, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Septoria carthami, Verticillium albo-atrum (wilt). It is parasitized by Orobanche cernua and Striga lutea, and is attacked by the Chilli mosaic and Cucumber mosaic viruses. Pseudomonas solanacearum, a bacterium, attacks it. Among the nematodes, the following have been isolated from safflower: Meliodogyne incognita acrita, M. javanica. Insect pests include Lygus bugs, wireworms, aphids, leaf hoppers, thrips, and sunflower moth larvae (HOE).
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