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Table 1 Household dyeing plants in Abruzzo, Latium, Marche and Sardinia regions (Italy)

From: Household dyeing plants and traditional uses in some areas of Italy

Binomial name, vernacular name, family, voucher specimen Part used Way of use Use Colour Districts, Localities and References N° Inf.
Allium cepa L. – Cipolla Liliaceae (GU14D) Leaves or flakes (bulb) Decoction To paint Easter eggs Yellow Abruzzo (Teramo district) [7] 2
Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. – Auzzano Betulaceae (GU2D) Bark Decoction As a felt dye Black Central Latium [6] 1
Anthemis tinctoria L. – Occhio di Bue Compositae (GU4D) Flower heads Ptisan As a dye for fabrics Yellow Southern Latium [6] 1
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Sprengel – Ericaceae (GU7D) Leaves Decoction As a dyeing agent and to tan leather Not referred Abruzzo (Pacentro) [3] 1
Calamintha nepeta (L.) Savi – Mentucce Labiatae (GU13D) Aerial part Decoction As a dyeing agent Light green Abruzzo (Guardiagrele) [3] 1
Capsicum annuum L. Piparioje (Abruzzo) Leaves Decoction As a dye for cloth Yellow Abruzzo (Teramo district)[7], southern Marche [4] 2
Solanaceae (GU25D)   As above As above Green Abruzzo (Teramo district) [7] 1
Centaurium erythraea Rafn Plant in bloom Decoction Used by shepherds to dye wool Greenish yellow Abruzzo (Pacentro) [3] 1
Biondella (Latium) Gentianaceae (GU11D) As above Decoction To bleach hair Yellow Abruzzo (Lama dei Peligni, Luco) [3, u.d.] 2
  As above Concentrated infusion As above Yellow Latium (Anzio) [6] 1
Daphne gnidium L. Su Truiscu Thymelaeaceae (GU27D) Stem and leaves, cut into small pieces Decoction Plant parts are boiled in water for about 2 hours, adding some alum for a yellow-green shade or lime for a pale yellow. Wool is boiled in the filtered mixture for half an hour. It is left to stand in the covered container till the following day. Yellow-green and soft-yellow. More intense shades are obtained with older plants Sardinia (Nule) [5] 2
Euphorbia characias L. Ua Euphorbiaceae (GU8D) Aerial part See "use" It is boiled in a cauldron in moderate doses for not longer than an hour as it is highly toxic (the sharp and irritating smoke, should not be inhaled). Wool is added, boiled for 30' and left to cool in the covered cauldron. Very persistent off-white Sardinia (Nule) [5] 2
Fraxinus excelsior L. Frassino Oleaceae (GU17D) Leaves and walnut husks with ivy leaves (and, if available, berries) Maceration in water Used to dye some types of cloth after a day soaking in water. Ivy provides colour and its saponins dissolve the plants dyeing substances in the water and make them more easily absorbed by cloth. Lasting dark green Latium (Trevi nel Lazio) [6] 1
Fraxinus ornus L. Ornello Oleaceae (GU18D) Bark of branches Decoction As a wool dye Greenish-yellow or apple-green Central Latium [6] 1
Hedera helix L. Ellera Araliaceae (GU1D) Fruits Juice As a dye for clothes (see F. excelsior) Brown Latium (Farnese, Trevi nel Lazio) [6] 2
  Leaves Decoction To wash delicate clothes and brighten the colour   Abruzzo (Penne)[u.d.], Latium [6] 1
Isatis tinctoria L. Cruciferae (GU6D) Aerial parts Not referred (N.r.) As a dyeing agent for cloth Yellow green Abruzzo [8] N.r.
Juglans regia L. Noce Husks Maceration/decoction As a dyeing agent for wool Black Sardinia (Nule) [5] 2
Juglandaceae (GU12D) Roots Decoction (30–60') As a dye for clothes Lasting brown Latium (Staffoli) [6] 1
  Leaves, husks Decoction/Maceration As above Brown Abruzzo (Majella and Teramo districts) [3,7], Latium [6], Marche [2] 10
  Leaves, husks Decoction/Maceration As a dyeing agent for hair (women) Brown Abruzzo (Majella district) [3], Southern-CentralLatium [6] 4
Linaria vulgaris Miller Scrophulariaceae (GU24D) Aerial part Ptisan As a dyeing agent for cotton cloth Yellow Central Latium [6] 1
Lycopersicon esculentum Miller Pemmadore-Solanaceae (GU26D) Leaves Ptisan As a dye for cloth Green Abruzzo (Penna-piedimonte) [3] 1
Matricaria chamomilla L. Capomilla Compositae (GU5D) Flower heads (1/2 kg -1 kg) 3 hour decoction To dye wool Yellow Abruzzo (Majella district) [3] 1
  Flowers Highly concentrated decoction To bleach hair Yellow Abruzzo[3], Latium [6], Marche [u.d.] 6
Morus nigra L. Gelso – Moraceae (GU16D) Wood Decoction To dye wool Opaque olive-yellow Latium [6] 1
Muscari neglectum Guss. ex Ten. Pignolo, Pignocco Liliaceae (GU15D) Flowery aerial part Decoction During Holy Week eggs were boiled with plant parts to make Easter Eggs. Purplish Southern-central Marche [4, u.d.] 3
Papaver rhoeas L. Papambre Petals Decoction It was used sometimes to dye fabric. Red Abruzzo [3, Latium [6] 2
Papaveraceae (GU19D) Buds and petals   Used as lipstick and rouge   Abruzzo [u.d.], Latium [6] 2
Parietaria diffusa Merth. et Koch – Palatana Urticaceae (GU28D) Aerial part Ptisan Used in remarkable quantities to dye hemp sacks or faded green clothes. Intense green Abruzzo (Pacentro) [3] 1
Pinus halepensis Miller Pino Pinaceae (GU20D) Bark Decoction To dye fishermen's nets (up to WWII) Reddish Marche [4] 1
Populus nigra L. Pioppo Salicaceae (GU23D) Fresh bark of young branches Decoction After one hour boiling, the wool was immersed for a further 30 minutes Golden yellow Central Latium [6] 1
Quercus cerris L. Cerro Fagaceae (GU9D) Bark Decoction As a dyeing agent Very dark Abruzzo [3] 1
Quercus pubescens Willd. – Cerqua Bark Decoction As a dyeing agent Very dark Abruzzo[3,7], Marche [2] 3
Fagaceae (GU10D) Bark/Galls Decoction As a dyeing agent Very dark Abruzzo [7] 1
  Galls Juice As ink Very dark Marche [2] 1
Rhamnus alaternus L. Su Laru Rhamnaceae (GU21D) Bark gathered in spring Decoction The dried bark is set to boil for an entire day while water is added to compensate for evaporation. In the evening, wool is dipped into the cauldron and sprinkled with ash. Brown Sardinia (Nule) [5] 2
Rubia peregrina L. Sa Ruza Rubiaceae (GU22D) Roots are still used, prefera-bly of plants grown in sunny areas. See "use" The woody part is removed from the washed roots. The roots are crushed to a pulp and boiled in water for about 4 hours. Wool is added and left to boil for a further 30'. This procedure results in a pink shade. To obtain a shade between "dark rust" and brown, the wool is placed in a wide container, sprinkled with ash and covered liquid obtained from the decoction. It needs constant and careful stirring. See "use" Sardinia (Nule) [5] 2
Sambucus nigra L. Flowers Decoction To dye white doilies Dark yellow Latium [6] 1
Zambuco Fruits Juice As a dyeing agent for must Blackish Abruzzo [7] 2
Caprifoliaceae (GU3D) Fruits Juice As ink Blackish Abruzzo [7], Latium [6], Marche [2] 9
Urtica dioica L. Root Ptisan To dye cloth Yellow Latium [6] 1
Ortica Urticaceae (GU29D) Leaves Decoction To paint Easter eggs Green Central Marche [2] 1