Weld -Reseda luteola
Weld is a biennial that has tall spires of yellow flowers. It is also known as Dyer’s rocket and is one of the most permanent and best of all the vegetable dyes – yielding a vibrant yellow dye. The famous medieval colours Saxon Green and Lincoln green were produced by over-dying weld yellow with woad blue. Lincoln green was the colour of the clothing of Robin Hood’s Merry Men.
Weld is a hardy biennial plant, which is best grown from seed. Start the seed indoors about 6 – 8 weeks before the last frost or sow the seeds directly after the last frost. Surface sow the seeds and do not cover as they need light to germinate. Germinate 7 – 14 days at room temperature and thin them out as young seedlings. They can be planted in pots but they dislike root disturbance – great care must be taken not to damage the taproot.
Water regularly as reseda will not do well under drought conditions.
In the first year, it develops an attractive basal rosette with long slightly crinkled leaves and long yellow bloom spikes in the second year. Weld prefers a sweet soil but will grow in acidic soils as well. The plant lives for only two years – if allowed to flower and set seed, it will produce hundreds of volunteer plants in the spring.
1g – approx 4500 seeds – £3.25