Herbaceous plant native to Europe, southwest Asia and North Africa, it’s a biennial species 40–100 cm tall. The leaves form a basal rosette at ground level, and then spirally arranged up the stem; they can be entire, toothed or pinnate, and range from 1–10 cm long. The flowers are produced in a slender spike, each flower small (4–6 mm diameter), white, yellow, orange, or green, with four to six petals. The fruit is a small dry capsule containing several seeds.
South East Europe (Turkey), Valle d’Aosta
The plant is rich in luteolin, a flavonoid which produces a bright yellow dye. It’s an ancient dye plant used for dyeing textile, wool, silk and leather. With iron mordant turns to olive yellow color, with alum and cream of tartar to orange yellow.
Full bloom, when the basal leaves start to become brownish and before flowers make seeds.
If cultivated: June, July and August, if spontaneous May and July.
Unpleasant when rubbed.