Dyer's greenweed facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsDyer's greenweed
|Illustration from Bilder ur Nordens Flora|
Genista tinctoria, the dyer's greenweed or dyer's broom, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. Its other common names include dyer's whin, waxen woad and waxen wood. The Latin specific epithet tinctoria means "used as a dye".
It is a variable deciduous shrub growing to 60–90 centimetres (24–35 in) tall by 100 cm (39 in) wide, the stems woody, slightly hairy, and branched. The alternate, nearly sessile leaves are glabrous and lanceolate. Golden yellow pea-like flowers are borne in erect narrow racemes from spring to early summer. The fruit is a long, shiny pod shaped like a green bean pod.
Distribution and habitat
This species is native to meadows and pastures in Europe and Turkey.
Properties and uses
The plant, as its Latin and common names suggest, has been used from ancient times for producing a yellow dye, which combined with woad also provides a green colour.
It was from this plant that the isoflavone genistein was first isolated in 1899; hence the name of the chemical compound. The medicinal parts are the flowering twigs.
The plant has been used in popular medicine and herbalism for various complaints, including skin diseases, even in modern times.
Dyer's greenweed Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.