Native Region: Europe
Zone Range: 04-08
Preferred Climate: Temperate
Harvest Date: Tuesday 14 September, 2010
Seed count: 20-25
This taprooted, short-lived perennial produces basal rosettes of gray-green leaves and bears panicles of yellow flowers in early summer. Height 2-4 feet; spread 18 inches. The leaves can be used to produce a blue pigment.
The leaves of this plant, when fermented with ammonia, make the distinctive blue dye that was traditionally favoured by the ancient Britons and Celts for both a fabric dye, tatooing ink and body paint. <b> This plant is considered as a noxious weed almost anywhere outside its natural range in Europe, as it is extremely effective at competing with indigenous species. If you do grow it for dye production, be sure to harvest the plants before they produce seed. </b>
Sow seeds <i><b>in situ</b></i> in spring, cover lightly with soil. The only precaution is to keep the birds away long enough for the seeds to germinate and grow. For maximum freshness, please keep seed refrigerated in its original packaging until it is time to plant.