Two hundred safflower accessions, originated in 37 countries, and multiplied in two environments, were evaluated for fatty acid composition of the seed oil and other seed characters. Overall mean values of stearic and palmitic acids were similar in both environments but differed for seed weight and oil content. Oleic and linoleic acids showed also similar overall mean content in both environments but some entries with intermediate contents of these acids displayed significant variation among environments. Oleic and linoleic acids showed a tremendous range of variation, from 3.1 to 90.60% and from 3.9 to 88.8%, respectively. The ranges of variation observed for stearic, oleic and linoleic acids indicate that all the reccessive genes, already discovered, controlling high content of these acids, st, ol and li, are present in the collection. Moreover, the upper values of oleic, ten points higher than the published values for the high oleic genotype olol, suggest than other genes controlling such levels may be present. © 1993 Kluwer Academic Publishers.