Well, it seems my mother was right! I went back to take a look at the bright yellow flowers and compared it to photos of woad on the smart phone. I think it’s pretty safe to say it is woad we’re dealing with here. Pretty awesome, as wikipedia tells us the plant is very rare in the Netherlands. Apparently the banks of the Waal and Rijn are the only places you can find it, because the water brings in the seeds from central Europe.
It’s a pretty flower, too.
Choices, choices, though – woad was used of old to dye yarn or fabric blue. I’ve been wanting to try and dye some yarn for ages. Harvest these plants or not? It doesn’t seem like a good idea when the plant is that rare in the first place. On the other hand, might be an invasive species? *grin*
Oh well, a bit of research shows me I’m too late anyway, you need to harvest them before they bloom. And without the flowers I would never have learned it was woad in the first place.
Oh wait, no, there’s a chance I can still use them… Ack, choices!
We did harvest some of the less rare flowers. I love the bright yellow against the fine white flowers! And they keep surprisingly well, although they’re pretty darn messy.
Have you picked any flowers, yet?