May 10th, 2005


Image of madder plant Image of dye samples
My madder plant in May 2005 and wool samples dyed with it in 2018
(I originally bought this madder plant from Well Sweep Herb Farm in NJ.)

Dyer’s Madder

Rubia tinctorum

Full sun – well drained soil
Historic red dye, native to the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia Minor.

Used by the British for the “Red Coats” during the American revolution and a major player in the famous “Turkey Red’ dye.

Plants tend to spread their stems all over and these should be covered with soil in places to encourage roots as they are the major source of the dye.
After about 3 years the roots are ready for harvest.
(This page was updated in 2018 to include image of dye samples)