Madder: rubia tinctorum a herbaceous perennial is also known as Turkey Red or Rose red. Madder is known for the red pigment, contained within the plant root.
Plants requires two to three years growth to mature for harvest.
Foliage is green bristly and pointed. Tiny yellow flower clusters are seen in spring and summer, later producing the berries.
Sow dried berry in seeding compost place in warm location. Seed takes 1 - 2 weeks to germinate. Plant out when seedlings are large enough to handle. Offer plenty of space to each plant and give distance between madder and other plants as Madder is known to be invasive.
Prefers loamy, well fertilized soil. Requires consistent watering. Plants benefit from acidic soil and feeding.
In the first year, train madder to climb if possible though not necessary. Training branches upwards, permits easy harvest of berries in summer and fall months and prevents overcrowding of new self seeded plants. Mature plants can grow to at least a meter in height with roots a over a meter in length.
Thin or relocate plants after first year to ensure easy harvest of roots. Provide 1 square meter per plant / 3 square feet, in the second year.
Madder dyes both protein and cellulose fibers well. Depending on your choice of mordant, fabric / fiber and WOF. The color achieved shifts between vibrant deep reds to deep oranges and sultry peach pink.