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alkanet useful?

 
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Green alkanet keeps popping up in my garden - it was there before I converted it to a vegetable garden

To date, I have been cutting it off at ground level, leaving the leaves there to contribute to mulching efforts but I have left the roots intact. It always grows back
(the flowers are attractive but we already have borage, so we're adequately supplied with little blue inflorescences)

Is it useful? What's the best way to get a yield from it?

(Southern England, zone 9)
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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If yours is Anchusa officinalis this site says there are many uses http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_alkanet.htm
I have a jar of seeds that I have always intended to try as a natural dye for wool.......the seeds are sold as a coloring for food. I have read that the dye isn't very long lasting for fiber. The roots are also a good red dye source.

I would love to have it as a 'weed' here Can you try to ID genus and species?

EDIT... I see that GREEN alkanet is Pentaglottis sempervirens and doesn't seem to have much use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentaglottis_sempervirens
 
Paul Ryan
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mine is green alkanet = Pentaglottis sempervirens

it has annoying hairs on the leaves that make it quite unpleasant to touch (nothing serious)

it's only recorder use is to use on Plants for a Future is to use the flowers to decorate cocktails!
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pentaglottis+sempervirens

I guess I'll just keep using it as a mulch. It's impossible to get rid of it, so I might as well do something with it.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Paul Ryan wrote:mine is green alkanet = Pentaglottis sempervirens

it has annoying hairs on the leaves that make it quite unpleasant to touch (nothing serious)

it's only recorder use is to use on Plants for a Future is to use the flowers to decorate cocktails!
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pentaglottis+sempervirens

I guess I'll just keep using it as a mulch. It's impossible to get rid of it, so I might as well do something with it.



I have a couple plants like that in the garden......there usefulness is really limited but the one, dead nettle, attracts honey bees early in the spring. Does the alkanet attract pollinators? I seem to remember that borage does.......that alone might make it a valuable plant.
 
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