Safflower is among the most tolerant cash crops and many genotypes could display high yield under high water irrigation salinity. The objective of this study was to investigate salinity tolerance on a large panel of safflower composed of 265 entries selected among the international collection. During 2002/2003, all entries were evaluated in pots under 10 dS m-1 and only 52 entries were selected for field plot trials. Field plot trials were conducted over two consecutive cropping seasons (2003/2005) using three replications of irrigation water salinities corresponding to electrical conductivities of 10 and 15 dS m-1. During 2003/2004, 52 entries were evaluated and in 2003/2004, eight additional entries were added to the trials (total of 60 entries). All salinity levels, biological and grain yields and flower number averaged 6, 1.9 t ha-1 and 300 flowers per meter square, respectively. Salinity reduced the latter variables by 50, 75 and 25%, respectively. Some genotypes maintained their biological and grain yields at 7 and 2 t ha–1, respectively. Relationships between yield components showed a threshold of 300 flowers under 15 dS m-1, which enabled many genotypes to display higher yields due to higher salinity tolerance during branching, flowering and grain filling stages compared to that of susceptible genotypes. Stability analysis using genotypic ecovalence parameter showed that 10 genotypes were adapted to high salinity and 20 genotypes were adapted to intermediate salinity. Based on yield building patterns and yield stability there were 13 genotypes that were selected out of the collection to constitute a nursery that is representative of the original collection over the whole range of variation for salinity response.