Dear Mr smarty plants, I watched a gardening show on cable and they talked about a place in France where they use a weed called Wod to make dye and dye fabric and several other items to sell. It was fascinating and I wanted to learn more about this weed and the dying process. Or even where in France they make this dye, and if you can purchase their products. Have you ever heard of this plant? They said Marys' dress was dyed with this color, it is very long lasting and does not fade. I hope you can give me some information on this. Thank you so much,
Mr. Smarty Plants thinks he has found your plant. You can read a fascinating history (by Professor Arthur C. Gibson, who teaches a course on economic botany at UCLA) of Isatis tinctoria (Woad), a European member of the Family Brassicaceae (Mustard Family), the plant used for blue dyes for centuries in Europe. Not only was it used for dyeing fabrics but also was used in the British Isles as a body dye to frighten foes. (Remember Mel Gibson's facepaint in the movie "Braveheart"?) There is another website called The Woad Page that gives more history of the dye and its uses. There are also links to suppliers of woad powder in France and in England on this page as well as instructions for making the dye from the plants and dyeing with it. Now that you know the correct spelling of its name you can probably find U.S. sources for woad powder by googling on the name. Or, you could collect and make your own dye since Isatis tinctoria (Dyer's woad), though not native, grows and is considered invasive over most of the western United States, including Utah where it is appears on the Utah State-listed Noxious Weeds. Here is link to photos from University of California-Berkeley's CalPhotos site.
More Plant Identification Questions
Plant ID of succulent from Flagler Beach FL July 08, 2012 - file:///C:/Users/CircuitCity/Downloads/All%20sizes%20%20%20baby%20plants%20growing%20on%20succulent%20leaves%20%20%20Flickr%20-%20Photo%20Sharing!_files/3901143728_dcf227ea85.jpg
I have a succulent t... view the full question and answer
Identity of mint impersonator in California May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ... view the full question and answer
Wild native trees with orange blooms March 30, 2012 - What is the wild native tree that is blooming orange blooms - as you drive down the road thru Chappel Hill, and Brenham area. I've never seen these before when we went viewing bluebonnets - however,... view the full question and answer
Botanical name for \ August 05, 2007 - A friend gave me a garden flower plant called "clown face".
What is the botanical name and where can I get info about it? view the full question and answer
Plant identification December 15, 2008 - I am looking for the name of the plant that looks like the spider plant but can survive the cold weather of the northeast. It looks just like the indoor spider plant but it does not produce offshoots.... view the full question and answer