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Galium mollugo


A natural red dye obtained from the roots of the Galium species plants native to England and northern parts of Europe. Some examples are Galium verum (ladies bedstraw), Galium cruciata (bedstraw), and Galium mollugo (hedge bedstraw). The principal colorant in bedstraw dyes is pseudopurpurin. A yellow dye is obtained from the stem and tops of the plant (yellow ladies bedstraw). The stems of the plants were also used for stuffing mattresses in medieval times.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Galium verum (ladies bedstraw, our lady's bedstraw, yellow spring bedstraw); Galium mollugo (hedge bedstraw, false baby's breath); Galium cruciata (bedstraw); Natural Red 14; caglio (It.); erba solfina (It.)

Galium verum

Resources and Citations

  • H.Schweppe, J.Winter, "Madder and Alizarin", Artists Pigments, Volume 3, E. West FitzHugh (ed.), Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1997.
  • R.J. Adrosko, Natural Dyes in the United States, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1968
  • A. Wallert Studies in Conservation 40:177-188 1995
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998