The bark of the roots yield a weak brownish red or lillac dye. It is not as strong as its cousin Alkanna Tinctoria (dyer’s alkanet) however it will grow more readily in the UK climate.
Hardy Biennial/Perennial. Sow seeds in early spring in pots of sandy soil. The seeds germinate in 1 – 4 weeks at 21 degrees c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seed bed during July, transplanting the plants to their final position during early autumn. These plants will grow larger and flower earlier than those sown in the spring.
- Flowers: Sapphire blue. April – September.
- Height: 60cm (24 inches)
- Full sun or part shade
- Family: Boraginaceae
- The soil should be kept moist and prefers a pH between 6 and 7.
The plants bear a basal rosette of lanceolate leaves in the first year and in the second year a large number of erect stems appear. The flowers have red tinges before turing a deep sappire blue. They are attractive to wildlife.
Alkanet is easy to care for, however wear gloves when handling as the plants are covered in little hairs which can irritate the skin.
Results from this dye plant are unpredictable and I will share my findings with you in a future blog when I have experimented some more. If you have any results from your own experiences with alkanet please share.
50 seeds £3.00