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Monterey Bay Spice Company

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Madder
shopping: one variety
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$5.20 
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per Pound
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$13.00 
Rubia tinctorum

madder

plant overview
from the dyer’s garden

Madder is a common forage plant for grazing animals that is found in pastures and other undisturbed places throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region. The root of the plant has been used for hundreds of years to produce a red dye, which is why the herb is also known as Dyer's Madder. Because this coloring agent is readily absorbed by bone, it was once used as a marker to observe bone growth in animals. While madder root yields a reddish-orange color in either water or alcohol, the use of different mordants produces other colors, including yellow, brown, varying shades of pink and purple and even black.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Madder
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on madder

description
Madder is a member of the Rubiaceae family and can grow up to 1.5 m in height. Its evergreen leaves are approximately 5–10 cm long and 2–3 cm broad and are produced in whorls of 4–7 star like around the central stem. Madder is a climbing herb; it has tiny hooks at the leaves and stems which allow it to do so.

Madder flowers are small (3–5 mm across), with five pale yellow petals, in dense racemes. They bloom from June to August and are followed by small (4–6 mm diameter) red-to-black berries.

The roots of the Madder plant can be over a meter long, up to 12 mm thick.

common names & nomenclature
The common name Dyer’s Madder is in reference to the red dye made from the roots of the plant.

Also known as:
madder, common madder, dyer’s madder, krapp, robbia


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for madder

Madder is native to the Old World, Africa, temperate Asia and America.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting madder

climate
Madder grows in full sun, often found in waste spaces, hedgerows or cultivated beds.

soil
Madder prefers loamy soils—soils of sand and clay—with a constant level of moisture.

growing
Seeds should be sown in a cold frame as soon as ripe, since stored seed can be very slow to germinate. Once large enough to handle, the seedlings can be transplanted and grown in light shade in the greenhouse for the first year.

They can be planted out into their permanent garden locations in the early summer. If kept well watered until established, divisions can take place in spring or at any time during the growing season. Larger divisions can be planted out directly into their permanent garden locations.

harvesting
Madder roots are harvested in the autumn from plants that are at least 3 years old. They are peeled and then dried, also ground into powder.

preserving
Store dried madder root in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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PHOTO CREDIT (TOP): ©2009, H. Zell, CCBY-SA 3.0
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