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Isatis tinctoria

Isatis tinctoria

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Dyer's woad has been cultivated since ancient times for its indigo blue dye. In the garden, this biennial herb is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, and other pollinators when its nectar/pollen rich yellow flowers appear in the second year. Readily self-seeds.

Tip: this plant is a member of the cabbage family and should be rotated to prevent the build up of disease.

Distinctions: TCM plant.

Zones: 4 to 8

Family: Brassicaceae

Type: Herbaceous Perennial

Height: 24 to 48 in.

Spread: 24 to 36 in.

Exposure: Full Sun

Soil: Dry

Bloom Time: May to July

Native Range: central Asia and northern Russia

Image Credits:

  • Image 1 (flowers) ''Isatis tinctoria'' *Photo: Pethan *May 2005, Botanic Garden in Utrecht, Netherlands {{GFDL}}
  • Image 2 (in landscape) Stefan.lefnaer, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Image 3 (first year rosette) Александр Байдуков, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
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