Tag: natural dyes

New York Ironweed

New York Ironweed [Vernonia noveboracensis] found at Fletcher Park on 22 August 2013. It’s a member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, pages 210-211, states it blooms in summer and fall in moist meadows. Wildflowers of the Carolinas, pages 182-183, states: “Iron” refers to the rust-colored dried flower heads and reddish seeds, …

Continue reading


According to Rebecca Burgess’ Harvesting Color, page 162: If havesting fresh madder, the root must be three years old to produce strong reds. Madder [Rubia tictorum], or Common Madder, is a member of the Madder (Rubiaceae) family.  The live plants in the photos are being grown on our back porch.  Alum is used a mordant …

Continue reading

Pokeweed, or Pokeberry

This Pokeweed [Phytolacca americana] was photographed on 30 September 2012 at Fletcher Park, with the fruit in a withered state. Pages 318-319, of Wildflowers of the Carolinas, lists it as being in the Pokeweed (Phytolaccaceae) family. It produces a purplish dye and has been used to make inks, which normally turn brown over time. USDA …

Continue reading

Sericea Lespedeza

This photo of Sericea Lespedeza [Lespedeza cuneata] was taken at Fletcher Park. It’s from the Pea or Bean (Fabaceae) family and was introduced to North America from Asia and Australia in the 1800s, according to Wildflowers of the Carolinas, and is considered to be an invasive species. It’s stems and leaves yield a high level …

Continue reading

Bidens or Beggartick

Photographed in Fletcher Park, 23 September 2012 and 4 September 2013. The Wildflowers of the Carolinas, page 382, shows a flower that looks this listed as Bearded Beggartick [Bidens aristosa], a member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family. It makes an orange or orange-yellow dye. USDA Plants Listing: Bidens aristosa


The flowers and plant yield a strong yellow dye (no surprise there). These photos were taken at Fletcher Park on 23 September 2012. Wildflowers of the Carolinas, page 406, shows a photo of Gray Goldenrod [Solidago nemoralis], which appears to be plant in the shots. It’s a member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family. USDA Plants …

Continue reading

Staghorn Sumac

This photo of Staghorn Sumac [Rhus typhina] was taken at Trout Lake, Hermon, NY, on 29 July 2011.  It is a member of the Cashew (Anacardiaceae) family.  Harvesting Color shows it yielding a light brown dye with an Alum mordant and a green/gray-green with an iron one (Pages 100-103). USDA Plants Listing:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHTY