Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Weld, Dyer's Rocket, Dyer's Broom, European Mignonette
Reseda luteola

Family: Resedaceae
Genus: Reseda (res-EE-duh) (Info)
Species: luteola (loo-tee-OH-la) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 1: below -45.6 C (-55 F)
USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Reseda luteola by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Reseda luteola by kennedyh

By growin
Thumbnail #3 of Reseda luteola by growin

By growin
Thumbnail #4 of Reseda luteola by growin

By DMersh
Thumbnail #5 of Reseda luteola by DMersh

By DMersh
Thumbnail #6 of Reseda luteola by DMersh

By DMersh
Thumbnail #7 of Reseda luteola by DMersh

There are a total of 14 photos.
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No positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Boondoggler On Apr 10, 2014, Boondoggler from Klamath Falls, OR wrote:

Came here to read more after having bought this plant's seeds. Online venders seem to disagree with this site's data and vary between saying the plant needs zone 5 or 6 for winter survival. Venders also claim this plant won't flower the first year.

Can someone find a reliable source to confirm this plant's true hardiness (e.g. a book, trusted gardening magazine, etc)? It would be nice to not have to baby this plant through the winter if I didn't need to (I'm at a zone 4b). Seeds are supposedly where the dye is most concentrated so flowers would be nice to have.

Neutral DMersh On Aug 5, 2011, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

I've seen this growing on pure chalk rubble in an old quarry, it can clearly tolerate very poor soil as well as strongly alkaline conditions.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 7, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is the oldest yellow dye plant in the world. It is again gaining popularity as an organic dye.

Neutral NatureWalker On Jan 17, 2005, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Biennial to 5', stems hollow, little branched; leaves entire, basal leaves narrowly oblanceolate, to 3" long, stem leaves narrowly oblong; racemes dense; sepals and petals usually 4, stamens 20-25; capsule 3-lobed nearly to middle, to 1/4" long.

A frequent biennial weed of mineral soils on rubbish dumps and disturbed ground; especially abundant in old limestone quarries. The plant is tall with a long spike of small yellow flowers and with narrow wavy-edged leaves.

Formerly cultivated as a source of a deep yellow dye; occasionally planted in collections of economic plants.

Naturalized in the United States. The root of this plant is conical, and resembles in taste and odor the garden radish. It contains allyl-sulphocyanate a volatile oil of mustard. A persistent bitter taste is imparted by the herb. It contains silky yellow crystals of a coloring body, luteolin. It is feebly bitter and somewhat astringent. It is quite soluble in alcohol, and less so in ether and water. Fused with caustic potash it yields protocatechuic acid, phloroglucin, and carbon dioxide. It is now used only in dyeing; formerly it was employed to increase the renal and cutaneous secretions.

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