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Reseda luteola

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Resedaceae (Mignonette)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fields, walls, wasteland.

Green, 4 petals
Long yellowish-green spikes, occasionally branched. 4 lobed petals, each having a protruding claw.
Spherical pods with three well-defined points which split open at the top.
Dark green leaves, linear, untoothed and with wavy margins.
Very fragrant.
Other Names:
Bastard Rocket, Dyer's Mignonette, Dyer's Rocket, Dyer's Weed, Sweet Reseda, Wild Mignonette, Woold, Yellow Weed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Reseda luteola, also known as dyers weed or weld, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Resedaceae. It is native to Europe and western Asia, but has naturalized in many other parts of the world, including North America. It is often grown as a dye plant due to the yellow dye that can be obtained from its leaves. The plant has long, narrow leaves and small, greenish-yellow flowers that grow in clusters. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and can reach up to 3 ft tall. It is an easy to grow plant and is drought tolerant. It is also used as an ornamental plant and as an ingredient in some traditional medicine practices.


Weld, also known as Reseda luteola, is a plant species that belongs to the Resedaceae family. It is native to Europe, but has been widely cultivated and naturalized in other regions, including North America and Asia. Weld has a long history of use as a source of yellow dye, with evidence of its use dating back to ancient times.

The plant is an annual or biennial herb that can grow up to 3 feet tall. It has smooth stems and leaves that are lance-shaped, with a bright green color and a slightly rough texture. The flowers are small and yellow, growing in spikes on the top of the plant. They bloom from late spring to early fall, attracting a variety of pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Weld has been used for centuries as a source of yellow dye for textiles, leather, and paper. The dye is extracted from the leaves of the plant and is one of the oldest natural dyes still in use today. It is valued for its lightfastness, meaning that the color does not fade over time, and its ability to produce a bright, sunny yellow color.

In addition to its use as a dye, Weld has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional medicine. The plant was believed to have pain-relieving, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, it should be noted that there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses and further research is needed.

Weld is relatively easy to grow, and can be propagated from seed or cuttings. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade. It is often used as an ornamental plant, both for its attractive yellow flowers and its ability to attract pollinators.

Weld (Reseda luteola) is a plant species with a rich history of use as a source of yellow dye. Its bright yellow flowers and easy-to-grow nature also make it a popular ornamental plant. While there is limited scientific evidence for its medicinal uses, Weld remains a fascinating and versatile species.

Weld has been an important source of yellow dye for many cultures throughout history. In medieval Europe, the dye was used to color robes for the Catholic Church, as yellow was a symbol of purity and virtue. The ancient Egyptians used Weld to dye the cloth used for mummification, and in India, the dye was used for traditional clothing and for coloring religious texts.

Today, Weld continues to be used as a natural dye, particularly in the production of organic textiles and in the making of artisanal and hand-crafted items. It is also used as a food coloring and as a dye for cosmetics and personal care products.

Aside from its practical uses, Weld also has a place in folklore and mythology. In ancient Greece, it was believed that Weld had the power to heal wounds, and it was also used in magic spells. In medieval Europe, it was believed that the plant could ward off evil spirits and protect against witchcraft.

Despite its long history of use, Weld is considered to be a relatively low-impact crop from an environmental perspective. The plant is easy to grow, and the dye extraction process uses relatively simple and non-toxic methods. This makes Weld an attractive alternative for those looking for natural and sustainable dye options.

Weld is a fascinating plant with a rich history and a wide range of uses. Whether as a source of yellow dye, an ornamental plant, or a ingredient in traditional medicine, Weld is a versatile and valuable species that continues to play an important role in our lives today.

Weld has a unique place in the world of natural dyes, as it is one of the few sources of a bright yellow color. Unlike other yellow dyes, which tend to fade over time, Weld is known for its lightfastness and ability to produce a stable yellow color that remains vibrant for many years.

The yellow color produced by Weld is due to the presence of a compound called luteolin, which is found in the leaves of the plant. Luteolin is a type of flavonoid, a group of plant compounds known for their bright colors and potential health benefits.

In addition to its use as a dye, Weld has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its supposed healing properties. The plant has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including wounds, skin irritations, and digestive problems. However, it is important to note that there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses, and further research is needed.

Weld is also valued for its ornamental qualities, and it is often grown in gardens and wildflower meadows for its attractive yellow flowers and its ability to attract pollinators. It is also a popular ingredient in floral arrangements, as its yellow flowers provide a bright, cheerful accent to bouquets and centerpieces.

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Weld and other natural dyes, as people seek more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives to synthetic dyes. Weld is a great example of a natural dye that is both beautiful and versatile, making it a popular choice for those looking to make a positive impact on the environment.

In conclusion, Weld (Reseda luteola) is a plant species with a rich history of use as a source of yellow dye, medicine, and ornamentation. With its bright yellow flowers, lightfast yellow dye, and potential health benefits, Weld is a valuable and versatile species that continues to play an important role in our world today.


Weld filmed at Orford, Suffolk on the 29th June 2022.


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