Discovering useful plants

Discovering useful plants

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We know quite well medicinal plants, aromatic and condiment plants, fragrant plants ... but less those that we classify under the name of "utility plants". However, these plants have been identified for a long time and enjoy a prominent place in medieval-inspired gardens. These plants are generally of two types, textile or dye. From the first, a fiber is extracted which can then be woven, and from the second, dyes and dyes. The use of these plants, which dates back to ancient times, has almost been forgotten since the beginning of the 20th century which saw the advent of synthetic textiles and dyes. At a time when we are trying to return to products and practices that are more respectful of the environment, it is interesting to rediscover them.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## Dioecious nettle We know it to be prickly, for anyone who risks their hands in its foliage. We know it is useful in the garden, for the manure it produces and which enriches crops. But it is less known for its textile use, whereas it has always made it possible to make ropes, fabrics (for tents, backpacks, etc.), paper, etc. Nettle is also the origin of one of the most used green dyes in the industry.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## Perennial flax Blue flax is one of the sure values ​​of the garden, which it adorns with its magnificent corollas of a deep blue which move at the slightest breath of wind. After flowering, a well-balanced alchemy between sun and humidity will transform the straw into fiber: this is the retting stage. It then remains only to produce beautiful linen, natural and robust!

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## The pastel of the dyers Also called "guède", the pastel of the dyers is at the origin of a dye of a delicate light blue, obtained from the leaves of the plant after several long stages of treatment. After being dethroned by indigo from India at the end of the 17th century and then by blue chemical dyes at the end of the 19th, the dyers' pastel is trying to be reborn and to initiate a new recognition.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## The fuller's teasel It is a song, well known to the choristers, which says: "The wool of the sheep, It is we who cardaine, The wool of the sheep, It is we who cardoon. Cardons, cardoons , The wool of sheep, Cardoons, cardoons, The wool of sheep ". All is said. The ears of the fuller's teasel, after their flowering, are in fact used to card - that is to say, to untangle and aerate - wool and fibers in general.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## The saponary The saponary produces delicate flowers which are reminiscent of those of the silene or phlox. Its roots are used to produce a soapy base ideal for washing delicate clothes which may discolour.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## Dyers' chamomile Also known as "Anthemis tinctoria", this plant was once used to produce a solid yellow dye, hence its qualifier "tinctoria". This is the flower that is used, first macerated then filtered, before giving rise to baths in which the fibers to be dyed will be immersed.

Utility plants

J-F. Mahé ## Calabash squash Calabash squash is a variety of squash that produces a fleshy fruit whose shape resembles that of a bottle. Once dry, this fruit becomes hard like wood and can then be used to create a wide variety of containers and objects.


  1. Lysander

    In this something is. Thank you very much for the help on this question.

  2. Tamnais

    I am final, I am sorry, but it is necessary for me little bit more information.

  3. German

    And where can they be counted?

  4. Biron

    And what, if to us to look at this question from other point of view?

  5. Brataxe

    This message is incomparable,))), it is interesting to me :)

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