Alphabetical Plant Listing

Isatis tinctoria (Dyers Woad)

Dyers Woad, Glastum, Asp of Jerusalem


Cultivated in ancient times for its blue dye, Isatis tinctoria (Dyers Woad) is an upright biennial plant with large terminal clusters of bright golden-yellow flowers in early summer which turn into flattened, lantern-like, dark, decorative seed heads. On dry plants, they remain standing into winter, providing interesting silhouettes in the landscape. The flowers are borne on stalks that are branched at the top and clasped with long, blue-green leaves. Rich in dye, these leaves were collected and dried before being infused with lime water to produce the blue color. It was not only used for clothing but also by Celtic warriors to stain their bodies during battle. Isatis tinctoria was later replaced by indigo.

This plant grows one year, blooms and produces seed the second year then dies.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 18 in. wide (45 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun in averagedry to mediumwell-drained soils.
  • This plant is considered as a noxious weed outside its natural range in Europe, as it is effective at competing with indigenous species. If you do grow it for dye production, be sure to harvest the plants before they produce seed.
  • Native to southern Russia, Woad is now found in southeastern and Central Europe and western North America.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Winter
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Botanik Foto, judywhite / Garden Photos .com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 8
Heat Zones 1 – 8
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Winter
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" (45cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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