Isatis tinctoria

A tall growing biennial with umbels of aromatic yellow flowers, the leaves of this herb yield a blue dye used long before indigo was introduced to this country; the illustrations in the Lindisfarne Gospels use woad dye. 9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

9x9cm pot (8cm depth)

Sale price£3.10
In stock (25 plants), ready to be dispatched


  • Dye herb
  • Aromatic flowers
  • Good for a wildlife garden
  • Attracts pollinating insects

A very old dye herb, the Romans wrote about the blue painted wild natives they encountered. Under Queen Elizabeth I, laws were passed restricting the growing of woad close to dwellings due to the smell and total acreage grown was controlled due to food shortages. A tall growing herb with masses of yellow umbels in the second year, this is a fascinating plant to grow.

Plant care

  • Height: 100-150cm
  • Type: Hardy
  • Aspect: Sun
  • Soil: Any/alkaline
  • Flower colour: Yellow
  • Flowering period: May – September in second year

Woad is a biennial herb and puts on leafy growth in the first year, before sending up tall graceful stems of yellow flowers in the second. It is happy in most soils and with a mixture of sun and shade. An easy herb to grow, the only thing to watch out for is slugs during the first spring as woad is becoming established and doesn’t have many leaves.



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