Woad has been used for centuries to obtain a blue dye, it is said a hundred weight of leaves yields 10 lbs of dye and is quite an elaborate process to extract. However, it is easy to grow this ancient plant and, as Richard Mabey describes in one of his books, ‘worth having in the garden’. An attractive plant with 1m high stems, long succulent leaves which shine like stained glass, with inner blue; foamy clusters and brilliant-yellow flowers. Pendant fiddle shaped seeds which may also turn blue/purple in wet weather.

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