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Fiber Color Range
Madder derives its clear, true red from the alizarin compound found in its roots. As a “grand teinte”, it’s one of the best light- and wash-fast botanical reds out there. Color from its roots can be shifted towards yellow, orange, brown, and even aubergine with an iron mordant. Plant tops yield subtle light peach and pinky tans.

 

Madder

Rubia tinctorum

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Madder has been used for centuries to make a reliable, vivid red dye. Plants spread by underground runners and can quickly take over, so best to grow them in raised beds or containers. That will also make these Zone 4 perennials easier to overwinter in some Vermont gardens: mulch beds heavily for winter or move your containers indoors. Roots need a few years to mature for the best color yield, so don’t delay planting a few of these powerhouse plants in your garden!

 Life Cycle  Perennial
 Zone  4+
 Sunlight  Full to partial sun
 Height  Trailing, or up to 2' staked
 Spacing  12" apart
 Soil

 Well-drained, sandy loam
 Slightly alkaline, pH 7.5 - 8