Roots of the common madder are used to produce a red dye that is used for leather, wool, cotton and silk. This vegetable dye is sometimes called rose madder or Turkey red.
The plant lost its importance in the 19th century when the same dye was produced by synthetic processes, but is now still sometimes cultivated to produce natural dye.
Rubia de los tintoreros
Garance des teinturiers
Rouge des teinturiers
Basic information and facts
Europe, France, Mediterranean region.
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Common madder is an evergreen perennial plant.
Small yellow flowers with 5 petals. Size of flowers is only 3 to 5 mm.
Leaves are 5 to 10 cm long and 2 to 3 cm broad.
The roots are over 1 meter long and about 12 mm in diameter. They are used to make a red dye for textiles.
Climate and weather:
Common madder can be 1 to 1.5 meter tall.
The roots are harvested.
Roots are used to produce a red dye for textiles. This dye has also been used sometimes in paints. The plant has also been used for medicinal reasons.