Sunday, September 4, 2011

Celandine Yellow

My friend Robin gave me some greater celandine (Chelidonium majus) plants for a dye experiment. She says they are somewhat weedy, so it was no problem to pick a handful with the roots. The stems and the roots ooze a bright yellow liquid. It is considered an invasive plant in North America if it escapes the garden and moves into the woods or other natural areas. Its latex sap is a skin irritant and the plant is toxic. How charming!

I simmered them in water for half and hour and then put them in a jar with some pieces of cotton mordanted in tannin. I just put the jar in the garden in the sun for a day or two.

The cloth came out a lovely soft, buttery yellow.

Robin has created her garden with an artist's eye. It's always a pleasure to visit and feast on its colors and textures.

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