Friday, 28 March 2008

Chinese Woad

The Chinese Woad seeds, Isatis Indogotica sent to me by Annee Silk from Prince Edward Island in Canada have now also started to germinate. Enys, who grows the dyeplants, and I are particularly pleased about this as last year the seeds Annee sent did not germinate. So we are very hopeful of having Chinese Woad reputed to have a higher level of indogitin per weight of leaves than Isatis Tinctoria ( woad) according to my favourite author Dominque Cardon.


  1. What a coincidence--I just planted Chinese woad seeds last night and wondered what the difference between that and isatis tinctoria was! I also am finally cleaning Japanese indigo seeds from last fall which I hope to get planted in the next day or two. BTW the isatis tinctoria seeds I sowed a few weeks ago were a year old and came up fine with not cold stratification. I love your blog, so many interesting new things to learn.

  2. Hi Katherine, I am so glad you find my blog interesting, which means we are like minded natural dye enthusiasts! Enys who does the growing and plantng and I are so excited about the Chinese woad as the seeds we were sent last year did not germinate.
    The Japanese Indigo is now sprouting away like mad and we have 36 little babies-just as well that we are clearing some ground for them!

  3. it's that time of the year again:)) I have some of Annee's seeds too - still have to sow them, though! and I received 5 g of fresh polygonum seeds - should cover my whole garden:) I was told that the sender dyed 4 kg of fibres with that amount last year - I think my stash will be transformed into blues and greens and turquoises by summer!

  4. Mae Tyfu Lliw yn enw addas iawn i'r 'blog' yma. Yr wyf yn cael llawer o hwyl yn tyfu bob math o flodau i Helen i'w defnyddio. Mae hi yn creu lluniau bendigedig, mae y lliwiau yn hollol naturiol ac felly yn gweithio yn dda iawn yn rhoi lliw credadwy o'r wlad o'm cwmpas.
    I was just wondering if there was a Welsh person out there using natural dyes.
    I'm so glad the polygonum has germinated, I get worried when I send seeds.
    The Woad grows everywhere in my garden, but I always plant some seeds in the greenhouse, and these never do very well - so now I rely on it self seeding (which it does with a vengence).
    I germinated the Chinese Woad in 3 different ways, bottom heat -very succesful, greenouse covered in bubble wrap very good result but obvious slower, and in an open tray and they are just showing now. The weather has been so dull and cold so everything is very slow, usually by now I am potting on at a frantic rate, as it is I've potted on about 30 Japanese polygonums and I've got what looks like hundreds more. Make sure you let one or more plants set seed to save for next year.
    I'm going to put most of the Chinese Woad in Helen's garden, to avoid it cross pollinating with my Isatis tinctoria Woad. I've got a another place to put mine a long way from the main garden. Always exciting growing new plants.