|Longevity: B (zones 4 to 8)|
An important dye plant, yielding a blue dye which was used by the ancient Celts as a body-paint. Native to the Caucasus Mountains, west and central Asia; this is one of the oldest dye plants known. Seeds have been found in Neolithic sites and ancient Egyptians used it to dye mummy wrappings. Economically important in Europe in the Middle Ages, the Woad industry was decimated by the introduction of Indigo from India in the late 1500s. There was even a French edict that forbade using Indigo under pain of death. Seedpods are attractive in dried arrangements. Showy yellow flowers in early spring.