Alkanet, True (Alkanna tinctoria), packet of 5 seeds, organic

(6 customer reviews)

$3.95

NOTE:  Currently out of stock.

Family: Borage (Boraginacea)

Hardy to Zones 7 to 11

(Dyer’s Bugloss) Herbaceous perennial ground cover native to Southern Europe.  Nearly extirpated–extremely rare. A pretty, gently mounding plant studded with myriads of sky-blue flowers.  Source of a brilliant red napthoquinone compound known as shikonin. Traditional usage (TWM):  Coloring agent for salves, lip balm and tinctures.  Preservative and anti-inflammatory.  Plant prefers full sun and dryish soils.  Sow in fall or very early spring, in the cool, moist shade. Seed is from recent harvest, germination is slow–do not prematurely discard flats!  Once seedlings reach a sufficient size, they should be planted out to the garden in a sunny, well-drained spot.

5 seeds per packet, certified organically grown

Out of stock

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5 out of 5 stars

6 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Question

    Flowers

    How do you recommend over-wintering this plant in colder climates?

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    • Diana

      Diana

      hi flowers, thanks for asking. So many people attempt overwintering by bringing plants into the house or garage and this usually does not work. Plants prefer oscillating temperatures otherwise they get disoriented. Thats why 70 degrees F and no air circulation means death. Potting up and bringing into a cold greenhouse often supplies the right conditions, as the plants can be watered occsionally and still experience oscillating temperatures. r

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  2. Ashley Walker

    Alkanna Tinctoria

    Ashley Walker

    I have been searching for seed of this plant for 5 years now. I bought some eventually from a German seed supplier but after growing for 2 years these turned out to be some other species of alkanna with white roots and no dye. So I am hoping you will be able to get some more seeds in soon as I am getting desperate!. Your price is very low considering the seeds rarity. Please let me know when you are ready to receive new orders. Thanks

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    • Diana

      Diana

      Hi Ashley,
      It is true that seed sellers love the word “Alkanet” and apply it wherever they can, red roots or no. I’ll go check on my mother plants again, but it is looking reasonable this year–just wish they made a lot more seed than they do. I’ll have to talk to the alkanet fairies.
      Richo

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  3. Joann

    Joann (verified owner)

    I would like to be put on a waiting list for this plant. Or could you dicrect me to a seed source? Thanks Joann

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Joanne,
      OK, you’re on the list, I did an extensive photo shoot yesterday (4/29/2019) of bees on the mother plants. Hopefully in the future—-SEEDS! Richo

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    • Lis Janes

      Hi Richo, I would also like to be added to the list. Thanks! -Lis.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, you’re on it!

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    • Meika C. Laszlo

      Me too!!!!!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, good, You’re on the list.

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    • Jacqueline Morninglight

      I, also would like this plant (seeds?) got some years ago and it is still growing but I am not sure if it is true (red rooted). Is there a problem with it closing with the ornamental one or just borage (which I lots of free seeding). I will try it again but would appreciate guidance. I remember when I got seeds you were just working out getting the “real” plant. THANX for your work.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Jaqueline,
      Borage family plants do cross readily although I think you’re safe with Alkanna tinctoria, it is sufficiently different from the various “Anchusas” that I think it will not likely cross. You remember way back because our records on accessions for Alkanna tinctoria go back 30 years. The original was from the wild in the South of France and I do not think we ever had trouble recognizing it–it is quite unique. You’re on the list.
      Richo

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    • Hannah

      Please add me to the wait list as well! Thank you kindly for all your wonderful work

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, I’ll e-mail when and if the seeds manifest.
      Richo

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    • Andrew

      Can I also be on the wait list please? Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, you’re on the list!

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    • Brian Dotson

      Hello, I am a consultant to a U.S. Agency for Development project in Afghanistan, looking for export markets for high value crops, including Alkanna tinctura, which is collected in the wild here. The Afghan government is experimenting with cultivation, as the unregulated wild collection of the plant is quickly depleting the indigenous stock. Can anyone comment on how long it takes to grow the plant from seed to saleable root? If I come across any seed supplier contacts while I am here, I will post them here. Kind Regards.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Brian,
      This is an interesting post. I was unaware that the native distribution of Alkanna tinctoria included Afghanistan. I do know that there are populations remaining in the Mediterranean Basin. I have had the opportunity to grow the plant and harvest the root, which attains sufficient size by the fall of the first year, and may be harvested on an ongoing basis in subsequent years, until the root becomes too woody to be really useful.
      Richo

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  4. Question

    Andreas

    Is it possible to explain how we could collect those seeds from alcana? I have too much near my house and i dont know how to collect them .

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Andreas,
      The plant makes long plumes of (usually) empty seed receptacles, which follow after the flowers. If you start at the crown and move out along the plume and keep pinching the receptacles, eventually you will find some with lumps inside. Those lumps are seeds. Squeeze them out and keep in a paper packet.
      Richo

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    • King

      @Andreas I would buy some from you if you were willing. I have been waiting impatiently for it to come back in stock. I had some seedlings a few years ago but I had to go out of town on vacation and my home-sitter killed everything. =( email is msienna at tutanota.com if you would be willing!

      Or @SMS will you ever have plants in stock?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Sir, I understand, we all want this. As I write this reply, I have a sprig of the root just in front of me, to remind me to care for the mother plants, so eventually, with luck, seed does again become available. For any entrepreneurial sort, this would be a great plant to grow–alkannin–a really rather magical constituent–the plant–nearly extirpated in the wild–a good one to grow, I have found it tangential to my main growing, but still, always there. I will offer seeds when I can. Richo

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  5. Question

    Rebecca

    Any idea when these will be back in stock?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Earliest would be fall 2019. r

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  6. Question

    Josée Pronovost

    When do you think it will be available

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      with luck, fall of 2019.

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  7. Question

    Shannon

    Hello 🙂

    Just wondering if these will be ready soon?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      hi shannon, no, they won’t, it is a long and rather sad story. I hope to have them again eventually. richo

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  8. Question

    Rhiannon

    When will this be back in stock?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Rhiannon, We hope to harvest Alkanna tinctoria seeds again in July. Stay tuned. Richo

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