Wild madder

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A plant, Rubia peregrina L., from the same family as Madder (Rubia tinctorum L.) that produces a red dye of similar color. Wild madder grows all over the Mediterranean area and other parts of Europe, including the southern half of the British Isles and parts of the Middle East. It was also sometimes cultivated and was occasionally used with (or in place of) madder when there was insufficient amounts of this plant available. The principal colorant in wild madder is Pseudopurpurin (present in the plant as the glycoside galiosin), and also Purpurin (also formed from pseudopurpurin by decarboxylation), with Rubiadin and a little Munjistin; very little alizarin is present.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Rubia peregrina L.; granza silvestre (Esp.); garance sauvage (Fr.); garança silvestre (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • H.Schweppe, J.Winter, "Madder and Alizarin", Artists Pigments, Volume 3, E. West FitzHugh (ed.), Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1997.
  • Jo Kirby, Submitted information, November 2007
  • D. Cardon, Natural Dyes: Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science (original edition Le Monde des teintures naturelles), Archetype Publications, Ltd., London, 2007
  • J. Wouters, "The dye of Rubia peregrina. I. Preliminary investigations", Dyes in History and Archaeology, 16/7, p. 145-57, 2001
  • J.H. Hofenk de Graaff, The Colourful Past: Origins, Chemistry, and identification of Natural Dyestuffs, Archetype Publications, Ltd., London, Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg;, 2004 Comment: pp. 107-10
  • R.J. Adrosko, Natural Dyes in the United States, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1968

Record content reviewed by EU-Artech, November 2007.