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Isatis tinctoria

Pronunciation: Eye-suh-tiss tink-toe-ree-ah
Family: Cruciferae or brassicaceae = mustard family
Common Name: Dyer's woad, woad
Plant Type:
  • biennial
Height to: 2-5'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Flowers are numerous, small and yellow; flowering the second year of growth from april, may, june, to july.
Soil Type: Moderately fertile, moist but well drained
Pests and Diseases: Infrequent
Propagation: Sow seed in autumn in containers in cold frame, or in spring at 55-64f/13-18c. Divide in spring
Native to: S. Europe
Notes for Identification: Biennial herb. Stems are stout, erect and branch at the top. First year leaves form a rosette. They are alternate, blue-green, four inches long and narrow. Four foot stalks develop the second year. Fruit are large, long, black and tongue-shapedonce used as a dye plant, but replaced by indigo. The dye extraction process is very complicated. Leaves yield a blue color which was once used for celtic war paint. Is now used as a base for black dye and to enhance the color of indigo. Stems and leaves were once used medicinally for external use. Grow in the garden in back of a border or herb garden. Attracts bees and butterflies. Use fresh cut flowers in bouquet. Biennial. Formerly grown for a blue dye obtained from the leavesplant info from: michigan state university
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Biennial
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