Dianella fruit

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Yesterday I came through the royal showgrounds with my secateurs.  On the way out, I spotted these fruits.  I think this is one of the dianellas, probably Dianella Revoluta. It’s a  common native, drought hardy inclusion in public plantings in my area.  There were so many that on the way back, I took just a couple of stems from each plant and put them in my panniers.  While I was there I saw some caltrop, so I removed that while I was there.

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It’s one of the enemies of cyclists, as you might guess from these immature fruits… which when ripe will be the stuff of many punctures.  I pull this out any time I have the chance.

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I followed Jenny Dean’s suggestions about processing berries…

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And, as might have been expected, the result was nothing like the fruits I started with.  I would rate the unmordanted wool pale tan, wool with alum dark tan, the silk is grey-brown and the cotton is pale grey.  Not too exciting, is my conclusion!IMAG0340

15 Comments

Filed under Dye Plants, Natural dyeing, Uncategorized

15 responses to “Dianella fruit

  1. I have never seen that plant. Those berries look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. So cool! Out of curiousity, what kind of pH is the soil that this plant likes to grow in? I wonder if the results would be different with vinegar (like for pokeberries) or cold process dyeing or even if allowed to ferment… Aaaaah! So many things to experiment with!

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    • They do look cool, don’t they? I don’t know about soil Ph: do you think soil ph and the ph of the dyebath should have a relationship? Pardon my Ph ignorance.

      I had also wondered whether whether trying the pokeweed strategy might work. My one thought on it (apart from ‘I should maybe try that’) was that pokeweed seems to give a lot of colour by many methods but finding a way that created a lightfast colour was more difficult. Only an experiment will get me an answer…

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      • It was the pokeberries that got me thinking about the whole soil pH question. I know that they can and do grow in acidic soil (all the way down to a pH of 4), but it is not necessarily their preference. I just wonder if there is a connection between a plant’s soil pH and what they dye best in. It would be interesting to research that more.

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  2. I have used very ripe berries ( almost squishy ) in bundles and had pleasing results !

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  3. I’ll have to try that, thanks for the tip 🙂

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  4. grackleandsun… I agree. It would be really interesting to investigate that!

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  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I read with interest your eco print / dye. Very inspiring and you’re fortunate to have many species of eucal. leaves. The bright red / orange are striking.

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  6. Thanks Terrie! You have a lovely blog. You’re right… if there is one thing we have in plenty here, it is Eucalyptus, and that is a real blessing. I certainly never need to buy it anywhere, the way you do.

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  7. Perfectly beautiful in all it’s naturalness! Love the colors you got and thanks for posting. I’m inspired. Have some blue berries on a vine in my garden I want to try. -If the birds haven’t eaten them all yet!!!

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  8. The joy of experimenting is one of the pleasures, isn’t it? Hope your berries come out really well!

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  9. indiedyer

    Hello again,
    When I first saw these berries I was so excited!!! In my mind they’re “technicolour berries”. I mordanted with alum (no measuring, no pH adjustment, blush) and dyed with very ripe berries. The result was a nice blueish grey. Sadly, after 2 weeks on the window sill the colour was all but gone. But you’re right – this kind of serendipity makes my heart jump for joy…

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  10. balanda

    Lol, I love that you’ve got a tag “not tan again!” Also, your threads all neatly labelled.

    I found this pic of Lomandra longifolia fibre dyed with Dianella sp. (Aboriginal dyed I think?) http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/school/curric/stage4_5/nativeplants/gallery/dianella/dianelladye.jpg
    It looks kind of blue-grey.

    I just found out there are a lot of Dianella revoluta (cultivated in a variegated form) where I live so I’m going to give this a go the next time I see the berries. Will try them very ripe.

    I think a lot of purpley berry and fruit colours are normally fugitive to light unfortunately (anthocyanins?), but blue is too tempting a colour to not try here!

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