Sherardia arvensis. Field madder. Dearg faille.


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Field madder is a low growing annual. Suited naturally to open ground, it can be used as a bedding plant. It produces a red dye from its roots.

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Common name: Field madder. Dearg faille.

This population originates from Co Down. Irish Grid reference: J 580420.
Also known as blue-field madder, field madder is a low growing, mat forming annual, behaving as a biennial if it doesn’t flower in its first year.
It has tiny 3mm, light mauve, 4 petalled flowers interspersed along it’s upper length at leaf axils, along stems with whorls of small shiny green leaves. It thrives in bare soil and along margins and edges, it’s not really able to compete with long grass. Reseeds itself at a reasonable rate it comes back in spring when an edge is strimmed back for example, where it can attractively line path edges.
When grown in a bed it forms attractive clumps of whorled stems. This makes it a good bedding plant.

It is a plant which needs pollinated but we’ve not found out what does it yet. It may be moths at night who benefit.

It prefers open areas of soil. A grassland species it will come up after disturbance if you have the seed in your soil seed bank.

Sowing guidelines:
Sow late autumn or early spring into a seed tray, prick out when large enough to handle and plant out when big enough.

Cultural history:
This species is the only one in its Genus. The fairly diminutive roots produce a red dye.

Avg contents: 100 seeds.

Additional information

Weight 0.01 g
Dimensions 10 × 5.6 × 0.3 cm

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