Woad (Isatis tinctoria) - Stock Image

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Medium to tall, mostly hairless, greyish biennial. stem leaves arrow-shaped, clasping the stem. Flowers yellow, 3-4mm in much branched racemes, Fruit an oblong, flattened pendent silicula, 11-27mm, dark brown when ripe.
Habitat:: Dry places, cultivated land, waste places, cliffs and rocks, to 2000m.
Flowering Season: July-August.
Distribution: Eastern Europe, West asia. Throughout, except Ireland, the Faeroes, Iceland and Spitsbergen, naturalized probably in most places and persisting as a relict of former cultivation.

Used by the Greeks and Romans as a medical plant. During the Middle Ages it was widely cultivated for the production of a blue dye, Indigotine, produced by crushing and fermenting the leaves. Still cultivated in gardens today.

This Picture is made along the River Waal near Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

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