Elaine Duncan

Mystery plant for natural dyeing

by on Nov.18, 2013, under Blog Posts

close up of the flower

a bush along the roads in Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico


I have been wandering the roads of  Lo de Marcos, my winter home in Nayarit, Mexico in search of dye plants.  I came across this plant which has a flower resembling the coreopsis plant.  I picked a few blossoms and added hot water and watched a gorgeous orange colour develop.  Later I placed a small amount of wool, unmordanted, into the dye water and left in the sun for a few hours.  Had a lovely golden yellow develop.  Now I am wondering if it is related to the coreopsis family and whether it is lightfast and washfast.   Any ideas or thoughts?

1 Comment for this entry

  • Laura Proctor

    Hi ELaine:
    I think this plant is Yellow Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus). It is native to Central America so fits the location. I have grown it in my garden in Victoria and recognized the flower. I’ve not tried to dye with it (yet!)
    Cheers, Laura

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