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A picture of a Dyer's Madder

Dyer's Madder

Rubia tinctorum

Also known as

Common Madder, rose madder, Madder

Rubia tinctorum flowers by Carstor (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy

H4

RHS hardiness

-10°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1.5m

Max

1m

50cm

Min

80cm

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Dyer's Madder

A close up of some green Rubia tinctorum leaves
A photo of Dyer's Madder

Dyer's Madder Overview

Rubia tinctorum is a climbing, evergreen, herbaceous perennial in the Rubiaceae family. It is well known by the names Dyer's Madder, Common Madder or Rose Madder. Tiny flowers are star-shaped, coloured pale yellow and they have 5 petals. flowers lead onto small red-black berry fruits. Leaves measure 5-10cm in length and 2-3cm in width, they are arranged in whorls, generally between 4-7 and these radiate around stems. This species climbs through the use of small hooks across the foliage. Its roots can reach over 1m in length and are used to create red dye, the genus name Rubia is from the Latin ruber, meaning red. This species is also used as a food plant by many Lepidoptera larvae.

How to propagate Dyer's Madder

Seed

You can propagate from seeds which are sown in spring.

Division

Division of the creeping rootstock.

Other uses of Dyer's Madder

Used as a dye plant.