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“The dew of the rouge-flower, When it is spilled Is simply water.”

By Chiyo-ni, translated by R. H. Blyth in “Haiku” (Hokuseido Press)

For centuries, these orange, thistlelike plants have provided a golden-pink dye used for tinting silks and for cosmetics such as rouge and lipstick. A few people still use it for dyeing fabrics, but mostly safflowers are now grown as an oilseed crop, and the flower can be seen all year round — pictured on packets of margarine.