Rubia tinctorum Known as Common Dyer’s Madder. Perennial to Zone 5 if mulched heavily. An ancient and excellent source of red dye, native to Southern Europe and Asia, the 4' plants have square stems, whorled leaves and pencil-slender roots. Roots go down 2'. Do not harvest them for three years. Then dig deep to get the tap roots, not the runner roots, and grind them to yield a wash- and light-fast red dye par excellence. Seed can take two weeks to germinate. Start inside in April in 70°+ temperatures and transplant 12-18" apart in loose soil after danger of frost. Mulch deeply and keep beds well weeded. Plants send out runners that could become invasive so dig out the runners periodically or keep the area around the beds mowed. ~45s/g. ③
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All flowers are annuals except where noted. All flowers are open-pollinated except where noted.
Days in parentheses after a variety indicate days to first bloom.